Longford Leader Columnist Mattie Fox: Local doctors are the life and soul of rural Ireland

Martina Fitzgerald Book Launch

AtLongford Library on Monday night for the local launch of Martina Fitzgerald's book 'Madam Politician' were front row l to r; Longford Women's Link Chairperson Sheila Reilly, RTE's Martina Fitzgerald

Sitting in Dr McGarry’s clinic last Thursday I was once again struck by the variety, style of those already waiting, and those who were arriving for the first time.

Most able bodied.

All seemingly happy, obviously benefitting from the new immediate ways of maintaining health in this day and age.

Some were slightly less able, maybe limping, but still giving off an outward air of matter of fact contentment.

Frequent smiles were given to assistants who answered patients queries as well as manning the phones.

An air of being glad to be able to frequent the Doctors without too much hassle. Another benefit of the newly educated health service.

We know that the health service is creaking at the seams.
But it must improve. It is now inevitable.

Nonetheless, there’s much evidence of care being available from excellent physicians all over the country who work away without distraction.

We don’t often enough focus on those terrific doctors who are available in Longford, Roscommon, Westmeath, Leitrim, and indeed every single county in Ireland.

These doctors are the life and soul of rural Ireland. 

Men and women who care deeply for their fellow beings, and do their level best to cure the sick.

 fundamental need, yet one that must not be forgotten.

If doctors, male and female, cared less, they might just be in better mental health themselves. How many of us asks ourselves what sort of a day the doctor is having?

Who cares if the doctor is perhaps undergoing the stress of dealing with the centralised health service executive, whilst forcing themselves to put on a brave face and tell their patients they cannot be taken into hospital yet, although clearly needing treatment - such as a new hip, knee, or other extremely painful but ‘technically’ non life threatening ailment.

The doctor will tell the patient that it will probably be at least three years, realistically, until they can hope to avail of their rightful treatment.

The patient leaves the surgery, and the doctor has to absorb the indignity of once again feeling a sense of failure, when it had nothing to do with him, or her.

Yet what they’ve told the patient is that they must suffer on for another thirty six months, at least.

Don’t anyone try to tell me that the doctor becomes immune to the stress. No they do not.

The vast majority of doctors I know are caring, diligent, and sincere.
We in rural Ireland must remember that our local doctors regularly save lives.

Not such a rare occurrence in Rural Ireland, when the nearest ambulance is often maybe an hour away.

Read Also:  Longford's Mattie Fox: Sense of peace

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