There are people in the Health Service Executive (HSE) who go to work everyday and make decisions that result in great suffering and sometimes even death for patients.
This diseased, out of control, bureaucratic monster was created by and is strongly defended by cowardly and incompetent politicians.
In the O’Malley cancer misdiagnosis case, for example, somebody within the HSE decided that it was better to risk the lives of women who may have been misdiagnosed rather than admit that a mistake had been made.
All last week on Liveline we listened to horror stories from patients suffering from Cystic Fibrosis who are dying at least ten years younger than suffers in Northern Ireland and elsewhere.
Their lives are put in danger because the HSE/Government refuses to provide isolation units. These units are absolutely vital for CF suffers in order to avoid picking up potentially fatal infections.
Promises going back many years are still being broken so patients continue to suffer and die before their time. Those who have the power to provide these units are well aware of what is needed, yet they consistently and consciously fail to take the necessary action.
The plight of the CF suffers drew a huge response from the general public and businesses, here are just some of the offers of help.
The Construction Workers Health Trust offered a ready to go state of the art modular unit consisting of 12 individual en-suite rooms. They have also promised €60,000 to fund the unit for one year.
Aqua Fire Prevention has offered to supply all fire safety equipment.
Taxi drivers have offered to transport CF patients wherever needed.
A private citizen has offered a five bed roomed en-suite house situated at the gates of Beaumont hospital.
Ordinary PAYE workers have offered to pay for the care of a CF patient for a year.
It is highly unlikely that any of these generous offers will be accepted by the HSE/Government.
To do so would be to admit that the system had failed, it would be to tacitly admit that all the politicians and bureaucrats involved are incompetent.
It would also mean admitting that our health system is in need of the same type of charity that we provide for Third World countries. The offer by the Construction Workers Health Trust to provide modular units could be seen in the same light as the Niall Mellon Township Initiative which builds brick houses for shack dwellers in South Africa.
On his visit to South Africa last week Bertie Ahern was puffed up with pride by the great work being done by Irish citizens to help these poor Africans. But it simply wouldn’t do to admit that a so called First World country like Ireland was accepting the same type of charity to prop up its health system.
There is already a precedent of the HSE refusing badly needed help. In May 2005, Ben Dunne donated €30,000 towards the cost of three portakabins after numerous callers to Liveline recounted stories of spending days on trolleys in the A & E section of Dublin’s Mater Hospital.
The HSE refused the offer on the grounds of patient safety. Janette Byrne of Patients Together was not amused;
“The refusal principally due to patient safety issues was farcical. There is no way they could make A & E any more unsafe than it is at the moment.”
The bottom line is that politicians and bureaucrats are more than willing to put patient’s lives at risk in order to cover up their own incompetence.