I have been listening to RTE’s Liveline programme over the last couple of days.
For any who don’t know about Liveline, it is one of those phone-in type programmes.
A woman wrote into them about her story. It is shocking.
I won’t print the e-mail here, because it is a long one. Instead, I beg you to read it here.
It is a very sad story. It is very depressing. It is very well written. It is written from the heart. It has driven me to the point of fury.
It is the story of our health system. This is the system that Mary Harney [our “Minister for Health”] is so proud of and which she claims is much improved.
OK, Mary. I defy you to read this story.
Read about the man who was given a greasy fry in hospital just after a triple bi-pass, despite asking for fish.
Read about the vegetarian who was fed cheese sandwiches in hospital, because they apparently had no alternative.
Read about the state of the toilets in the Mater, where the floor is swimming in urine all the time.
But these are minor matters.
Read about the woman who has been sentenced to death by cancer because of the waiting lists in the public health service, when a man [who had a more advanced stage of the same cancer] will live because he had private health insurance.
Read it Mary. And then tell me that the public health system is working.
I watched the news last night. There you were Mary – spending your time trying to get AXA to buy over BUPA. Oh yes. You like the idea of private health insurance. You encourage it. It takes the pressure off you. So you fart around with BUPA and AXA and the VHI while your real responsibilities are dying.
There was another item on the news too – the appalling number of people in our hospitals still waiting on trolleys. One 80 year old got a bed in hospital yesterday. She had been waiting on a trolley since Monday.
The government is awash with money at the moment. There are billions to spare. But not everyone can afford private health insurance.
God help them if they need hospital treatment.