Letter from an angry doctor in today’s Irish Times.
HSE’S HOSPITAL HYGIENE CAMPAIGN
I recently had the misfortune to see the latest HSE hospital hygiene TV advertisement. This features a patient asking a doctor if he has washed his hands – a question that apparently needed to be asked as the medic in question had failed to do so.
This campaign is a disgrace. Not only does it casually insult every health care professional in the State, it also manages completely to avoid the real cause of the spread of infectious diseases – chronic hospital overcrowding. Needless to say, the patient in the advertisement was not shown lying on a trolley on a hospital corridor without any sinks.
If the HSE were serious about this issue, it could spend its money on creating extra isolation beds, appointing additional microbiologists and perhaps screening staff for MRSA.
Instead, it pays for expensive advertising campaigns in a pathetic attempt to deflect attention from its abysmal failure to run a clean and efficient health service.
However, I strongly suspect that these advertisements have nothing to do with hospital hygiene. To me they appear to be little more than blatant anti-medical propaganda designed to undermine the profession in the eyes of patients. Such cowardly and sinister tactics are worthy of a Stalinist regime.
Patients are being exposed to life-threatening illness in our hospitals. The blame for this rests entirely with our Minister and her incompetent administrators. No amount of slick propaganda will ever change this fact.
Dr RUAIRI HANLEY, Francis Street, Drogheda, Co Louth.