What is about politicians – I don’t understand them? In the run up to the election Mary Harney was pushing private healthcare with unseemly haste. A solution to end the Nurses’ work-to-rule was found in double quick time just ahead of polling day. Even Bertie Ahern rushed off to dissolve the 29th Dail in the early hours of a Sunday morning. And yet, here we are post-election in ‘limbo land’ and nobody seems in any hurry to do anything. The country is ‘on-hold’ while the politicians try to decide who really won the election! Fianna Fail don’t know who to get into bed with next. Fine Gael seem to want to get into bed with anyone and everyone.
I’ll tell you who’s bed they should get into. I’d like to see them take Orla Tinsley’s place the next time she is hospitalised for treatment of her cystic fibrosis. Her life is quite literally in politicians’ hands. Two days before polling day she made an impassioned appeal (Irish Times 22/05/2007) to the government to allow her the best shot at life. Orla is 20. Each time she’s hospitalised she has to to endure appalling hospital conditions in order to get the treatment she needs to stay alive. The average life expectancy for a person with cystic fibrosis in Ireland is 21. In Northern Ireland, it’s 33 and in Britain and the US, it’s longer again. Ireland has the highest incidence of CF in the world and yet those suffering from the disease here have to fight to stay alive in the shambles that is our Health Service.
Orla is just one of many, many people who deserve a better shot at life. Get a move on Bertie – there’s no time to waste! It’s time for action. You’ve been given another chance at life – some people don’t have that choice you know.