I have written to the Taoiseach today asking him to recall the Dail to try and get a handle on the crisis in Health. Some might say it’s a waste of time recalling the Dail to discuss and debate this issue, and they might be right, but I cannot in good conscience let what is going on continue without trying to do something.
The entire health system is in meltdown. It has gone way beyond political one-up-manship and point scoring at this stage. People are suffering and it is so unfair. I have dozens of constituents who are having operations cancelled on extremely short notice due to beds not being available on the day of their surgery. This is compounding the A&E and trolley crisis, as people who are in desperate need of procedures are being forced, and in some cases being told off the record, to attend A&E’s as this is the only way they will get their procedure carried out in any sort of a reasonable time.
I have had one elderly constituent in touch with me and she was told after an MRI scan late last year by her consultant that if she did not have her operation within two weeks she would be in a wheelchair for life within 6 months. It’s now two months later and her operation has now been cancelled three times and most recently was cancelled without anyone contacting her. She only found out after calling the bed manager herself. She is one of thousands across the country facing extreme uncertainty and anxiety as operations are scheduled and subsequently cancelled. Can you imagine how this woman feels and how all these people feel?
The all-party committee on health is a good idea but we are dealing with a crisis and it is getting much worse than people will admit. Yes, we need a long term plan but we also need radical emergency measures now to deal with the crisis. There is a severe lack of leadership within the government on health, and those supporting this government should seriously consider their position. Fianna Fail have said that the crisis has to be got under control by next winter or they’ll pull their support- it’s something I suppose, but quite frankly waiting to resolve this emergency situation until next year is not an option for thousands of people waiting to access services. Something needs to be done now!
I hope that the Taoiseach does the right thing and takes control of this situation as the Minister, Department and HSE are completely unable to get a handle on this situation and as a result people are suffering.
The frustration with the lack of action and progress is extreme and it is very disheartening to see the government playing a game of pass the parcel and blamee with the lives of ill people. People need to be accountable and responsible and the Taoiseach and Minister need to take control, or to be honest about it, Ministers and politicians are as well to pack it in and let the senior civil servants and bureaucrats run the country into the ground. The charade needs to end, because peoples lives hang in the balance. The honeymoon is long over, the government need to get real.