Readers' Blog: Politicians’ junkets won’t fix health crises

Is rubbing shoulders with the global political elite more important than the nation’s health?

Our country’s politicians will shortly be packing their bags for their annual St Patrick’s Day junket. They will head to far flung destinations for lots of food, drink and banter. Among them will be some who may not even believe in

St Patrick or that he existed or practice the religion he brought to our shores. This racket will be financed by the hard-pressed taxpayer. Some of those will be struggling to keep a roof over their heads, to educate their children, help with grandchildren’s rearing expenses, etc.

meanwhile the health service is in dire straits. The inefficient health administrators fail to improve the figures. Hospitals have been degraded and some A&E depts operate day hours only, etc. Private ambulances and taxis bring patients long distances.

Recently I had to present at one of the HSE’s overcrowded A&E depts and was at the receiving end of their care in one of our flagship regional hospitals. There I witnessed overworked A&E staff trying to cope with the influx of patients. There were corridors of trollies and shortages of the most basic essentials: trolleys with not one pillow per trolley available as the night wore on, wheelchairs, food. There were infectious diseases patients alongside those with severe injuries.

Frantic surgeons eager to operate were in a quandary trying to figure out when a bed would be available and whether to keep the patient fasting for operation or not.

It is time our politicians cut back on their costly junkets and put the ordinary voters first.

Imelda Martin



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