Dear Ms Harney,
I am taking the liberty of writing to you today are there are some things that have been puzzling me for some time.
Incidentally, please do not get carried away by my use of the salutation ‘Dear’. This is purely a matter of convention and does not reflect my true feelings for you.
My main question is a simple one –
You put yourself forward as someone who cares about the people. You got elected on the basis that you would represent the wishes of the electorate. I don’t remember anything in your manifesto about killing the people who elected you?
Once elected, you expressed a wish to implement your ideas for improving the health service. That is very laudable, and I admired you for that.
However, your ideas patently do not work. You have created a bureaucratic money sucking organisation that is a massive failure. Our health service has disintegrated to such a level that people are seeking treatment in Third World countries, as they have a better chance of survival.
In the recent past, we have had yet more revelations that people died due to crass inefficiencies in the health service. These were people who probably would have survived if the service had been left alone. It has been revealed that you have had to pay out over €100,000,000 [Yes. That is one hundred million Euro] in compensation payments to the victims of the health service. Is it right that a health service should have victims?
So, to go back to my question: why?
Why do you persist in this crazy idea that does not work? Why do you insist on carrying on down a path that obviously leads nowhere? Why are you pouring billions of our money into a system that is worse now than it was ten years ago? Why do people prefer to take their chances rather than go to hospital? Are you so blinded by your advisors that you cannot see the mayhem that is our health service?
I have another ‘why’ for you too.
Why should a generation of young girls be asked to run the gauntlet of cervical cancer in the name if fiscal rectitude? If any of these girls develop cancer in the future, are you going to be there to explain to them that balancing the books is more important than their health? You had a chance to vaccinate those girls. You promised them. Yet when we run into hard times, you sacrifice their chances for the sake of saving money.
Why is money more important than health?
Why is money more important than lives?
Please answer my question.
Yours not so affectionately,
Wow Grandad – well said. I had no idea it was as bad over there as it is here with Health Care. Well, we pay for it and all, but it’s still us against the giant insurance companies. Health should come first in any government agenda. I hope you really sent this to her did you? 🙂
Hear hear…. what kind of world are we living in – good treatment is ‘too expensive’ to prescribe – it may cure but you can’t have it – and all these new drug inventions are wasted on goverments that can’t see further than their own pockets!
Tricia – It is very bad. It seems that every time I switch on the news there is another court settlement were some poor kid has been maimed for life through negligence. Not so long ago they removed a healthy kidney from a child leaving the damaged one. Another victim of the system. I didn’t send it, but I am tempted.
Kate – I just want to know why she persists. The system has failed abysmally, yet she keeps telling us, year after year that things will improve. They never do.
And our new heir apparent, the one anointed Obama, cannot wait to copy your fabulous medical care system.
I got a HSE letter this morning, and spent the next two hours ranting about the whole inefficient, useless, time-wasting system. The rant was part what you’re saying here, and part what you said yesterday, about the carbon footprint.
Such a long story…will blog it later on, I’ll have to. I’ll explode else.
Obama surely isn’t copying the IRISH system? and was he really elected President of France? (for so it seems by Jim’s flag…)
Health services all over the world seem to be on the skids, for exactly the reason you give, that money and balancing the books are seen as more important than keeping people healthy and saving lives.
The National Health Service is also in a pretty parlous state. I would be terrified if I actually had to go into hospital, what with the number of deaths from superbugs, blood clots, surgical mistakes, drug mistakes etc. I can hardly believe now that the NHS used to be the envy of the world. I hope to God governments will start once again giving health the priority it deserves.
The National Health Service is worse than that … my mother was rushed into hospital last year from her nursing home and the ‘young’ doctor assumed she had no family so decided to leave her to die, fortunately my daughter and I walked in one hour later and played hell – she had pneumonia, needed treatment but in the notes the doctor had put that at her age treatment was pointless. God help us all!
Jim C – Harney worried me from the start when she professed that she was going to model the system on ‘Boston rather than Brussels’. She is hell bent on destroying the public service health care and driving us all into the private sector.
The stories that are coming out of our system are pretty horrific. Frankly, if I were to suffer a massive coronary or something, I would rather take my chances at home in bed. I have taken the cowards way out though, and have taken out private health insurance which costs me an arm and a leg [hopefully, not literally] despite having paid taxes all my life. I am simply too scared to trust the public service.
Thats just the problem though – any kind of service will only be for the people who can afford it – it is a very scarey thought for those of us that don’t have the ‘arm and leg’ – and it shouldn’t be that way – people who have worked all their lives deserve some benefit…. sorry I’m ranting…..
The answer is of course to go private. Take out health insurance(if you can afford to). Here we have no choice. It’s pay thro the nose for it or do without. Our health system is the best in the world; (if you can afford it.) So if I were you I would be gratefull to have the safety net of socialised medicine for those who can not go private and quit complaining.
tt – I’m not particularly grateful for a safety net that means people like Kate’s mother being treated so outrageously. And there are many more cases like hers. That’s not a safety net, it’s a trapdoor. And that sort of ageist indifference is very common also.
TT – I am not complaining on my behalf. I fork out in excess of €2,000 [that I can ill (sic) afford] a year purely to avoid the perils of our public service. I am questioning why I see this constant barrage of deaths, litigation and appalling errors in such a vital service. As Nick says, it is not a safety net, but more of a trapdoor to a lottery system where you are as likely to end up more ill than you started.
Like Grandad I shell out over 2000 a year to join the so called private system, which of course isn’t private it just means I and the girls get to hop a queue in the state programme.
The HSE which this woman he is writing about is not in charge of, well that it is what she said – honest – as she is the Minister of Health and the Health Service executive run the Health Service. The HSE is the biggest employer in Ireland, it covers everything from delinquent kids missing school to emergency admissions to hospitals. It is the despair of those who work in it and the despair of all those it serves as Grandad so eloquently expresses it. The HSE was invented by Mary Harney, but she is not in charge of it.
As a politician across the water once said to his fellow parliamentarians, “In the name of God go!”.
I am aware that gentleman would not get a trial for Drogheda United were he to come back to life but is there nobody who can say it to the bloody woman?
Rant over – I am just sore maybe – my beloved Mum lasted another two weeks in that hospital and never came out. She did improve enough for my son to get there but only because I was there checking all the time. I will never forget the look on her face when we first went in. We had visited her in the home every day for five years – the council had taken all her money for her care and she was left like that – the whole system here is appalling. My 91 year old uncle says he is so glad that I will be in his corner if he needs it.
Don’t get me wrong my son has private health care (it comes with his job) and thank God because when he had treatment for cancer he really needed it.
Our systems will never change now there are too many drains on them
We have a two teir system here but it doesn’t seem to be in quite as dire straights as the Irish health system. As for taking out the wrong kidneys etc. How is that a systemic fault, surely your medical staff need to accept some responsibility there!
Heard this on the radio yesterday and it made me so angry.
If I start, I won’t stop.
We are still suffering from the aftermath of inheriting a universal type health system following independence. It has become a huge tanker which has taken on a whole law unto itself. Predominantly serving the interests of consultants/doctors (in their inate human desire for profit – so I’m not knocking them). There lies the dilemma. The tension between public and private. The UK have struggled to hold on to the (perception?) of the worlds leading universal national health system but in reality it has failed of course. What is perceived as nationally provided is more often a public-private partnership and is slowly moving towards the private public mix.
Ireland has never been able to afford the legacy of a universal health system (regardless of any political philosophy) while our neighbours steamed ahead, oblivious… Ireland matured and between circumstance and design started to turn the tanker. While the circumstances were turning (with the invaluable support from the church becoming inadequate) those that could afford to pay for a better service started to, naturally) it took one Minister to have the guts to start turning the tanker in the design mode. This is a slow process – I guess the aim will be to have an effective public health service for those who can’t pay. Biggest challenge is for people to recognise that the state does not necessarily provide. We are all responsible for our own well being. If income taxes were levied at 2/3 of income and 1/2 of the value of your house, shares,etc. then you have every right to demand free healthcare. But before you say yes (!) – can you trust the government to invest YOUR hard earned money for you… Think about it. I would rather be taxed as little as possible on the money I earn and the assets I buy with those net earnings and have a choice of how I spend my wages rather than deposit into the exchequer every month in case I get sick. Will they know it’s me when I get to hospital – no.