I’ve just bought “The Bitter Pill”, a book that exposes the brutal reality of our so called health system. The junior doctor who wrote the book felt it necessary to do so anonymously for fear of reprisal – a damning indictment of our low quality democracy.
I’ve only read the first 30 pages and already I’m angry. Here are some quotes.
“For the past few years I have had access to the health services from the inside. It is this insider’s perspective that is so often lacking in the media-driven analysis of the problems plaguing the heath system.
The horrific stories we read every day in the newspapers and hear on the radio – people left on trolleys in A&E; gross mismanagement of patients in ludicrous circumstances; a young mother turned away from hospital, only to be discovered later, drowned in the river with her two young children – these stories, while undeniably inexcusable, are not actually the problems, but rather the symptoms.
They are the horrifying results of a deeper, pervasive and systemic disease that has colonized the Irish health system and threatens to disable it entirely.”
“I was working in a job where the level of disrespect toward patients was intolerable.”
“When you see a person’s basic human rights violated without cause, it makes you evaluate things in a different light.”
“I saw the basic foundations of good medical practice ripped apart on a daily basis, and I came to the point where I was no longer able to tolerate it.”
“I began to realise that the biggest problem with the health service was the lack of candid information available to the public about its failures.”
“I have known doctors whose careers have been jeopardized as a result of speaking out about bad practice in the workplace.”
“I am in no doubt that were my identity to be revealed, it would greatly diminish my future prospects and possibly even force me to go to another country if I want to continue practicing medicine.”
“I can no longer stand idly by and watch the simple things ignored, watch patients, nurses and doctors pay the price for bad policies that serve the interests of everyone but the public.”
The comment at the end of page 9 is the most telling:
“They are the horrifying results of a deeper, pervasive and systemic disease that has colonised the Irish health system and threatens to disable it entirely.”
I would apply the comment to the administration of Ireland as a whole, changing it accordingly:
“The many horrifying acts of incompetence and corruption that reflect a deeper, pervasive, and systemic disease that has colonised every level of Irish society.”