Longford Leader columnist Mattie Fox: The real meaning of 'keep the recovery going' hitting home

Longford Leader columnist Mattie Fox: The real meaning of 'keep the recovery going' hitting home

One should normally be subsumed by the recent smear campaign, for once I can say it's not alleged. It's actually true, beyond contradiction, and is awaiting the latest twist as I write. Suffice to say, it's not unbelievable, although it is grotesque.

But I don't want to allow what most of the media have allowed happen, which is to blow the RTÉ programme on the health 'service' off the pages.

Simon Harris said "I'm embarrassed"; "We can't stand over these figures"; "I'm genuinely unhappy". 

The doctor wheeled out by the HSE to defend the indefensible used PR words like "challenging", "focus" and "unhappy with the figures"!

Horrific scenes from real people, with real serious medical problems. 

Meanwhile, the troika come into Ireland and satisfy themselves that austerity is being enforced. Ireland is seeing growth.

A young girl is clearly beginning to grow grey, while the rules of austerity are maintained by the government, and the troika are reassured that enough austerity is being enforced.

A man with a growing tumour is waiting, and waiting, and not even a single phone call - from anyone who cares for patients. 

It's the pain, the stress, the mortgages, the suffering. It's the pain, most of all.

One man says with emotion in his voice "I promised her I'd look after her; it looks like I can't" - husband of Betty Rogers from Offaly.

Girl with curved spine caused by scoliosis. 13 years of age, and she cannot get an appointment.

But still, the government enforce austerity (cutbacks) without relenting, while the troika are well satisfied. After all, Ireland has one of the best growth rates in Europe.

Another patient is shown obviously in stress. The doctor says, "we're watching her deteriorate".

They showed an X-ray from 2014.

If she'd been operated on in a timely manner, she wouldn't be so excruciatingly painful.

The girl has to lie down several times a day, to alleviate the pain.

Ciara Carberry is from County Longford, so this shows how the decision by government, has affected everyone. No county is immune to the decisions taken by the government.

Living on the list.....

Patricia is from Cork. She can't leave the room so bad is the pain. Patricia is 112 weeks on the waiting list.

We cannot provide a service to treat patients without borrowing money said a person who was one of the people who are part of Cork Gynecological service.

A boy who has a spinal injury is shown trying to swallow a glass of milk! He's in desperate pain trying to gulp the liquid down.

He was only listed in April 2016, when he should have been placed on the waiting list in August 2015. Eight months earlier.

The hospital told her he was appropriately placed on the list. Next they were told that it was a clinical issue. Third time they eventually told the family the truth and "they apologised and said that it was a human error'.

But meanwhile the government are satisfied that Ireland has one of the fastest growing economies in Europe. Moreover, the Troika are quite satisfied with Ireland’s measures to curb spending.

"Keep the recovery going" has taken on a real meaning.

The girl from Longford featured again, and her mother, who told a harrowing story of how the girl was delayed, and delayed, and further delayed. Sixteen months it took, to get the second operation  carried out. By then, it was inevitable, given the nature of the complaint, that everything was terribly wrong.

Betty Rogers from Offaly has been waiting to have her leg cared for. She's in incredible pain.

She was interviewed and couldn't hold back the tears.

Collette Hitchings is two years waiting for an operation.

Another man with severe neck pain is waiting two years for an operation,

Still, the government is happy to carry on as if everything is okay. If they're not, then why do we spend endless millions building everything and anything from parks to office blocks?

The government don't care enough, simple as that. That's the fact.

Dara Cahill from Kilkenny is waiting fourteen months for an operation on his spine.

Dara is little more than a baby. His mother says "my son has to get worse before he gets his surgery'"

A consultation said that "Dara's situation was critical and that he must have surgery".

In other words, when it got so bad that he had no option but to operate on Dara.

Dara had spent fifteen months on the waiting list, for surgery that should have been done "urgently". Anywhere except in Ireland, and of course, the third world..

Meanwhile, the Troika are happy that Ireland is holding its end up, in their side if the bargain.

The government speak proudly that Ireland is one of the highest growth rates in Europe.

"She's not having surgery if she had surgery she could start living her life..."

The government - and I'm not talking just Fine Gael here - are absolutely clear on this crisis. The government knows that two or three million has little or no real bearing on whether or not the health service will improve. Three million wouldn't even make a real difference. And the health minister should stop talking about 'best international practice". That's utter rubbish, as there was a time, Ireland was one of the most compassionate states in the world, that's what's called best international practice!

The Irish should demand that Ireland recoups its history and starts standing up for itself.

Time to stop refurbishing cities, and investing in politicians and others who don't seem to know the first thing about the people of this country.

It's long past time for someone to shout STOP.

Does the government really think that people don't know?

They're not stupid.