It’s exactly 3 weeks since polling day and almost six weeks since the 29th Dail was dissolved. Today Bertie Ahern goes back to the Aras to kick-start the new government. You can’t but have noticed the intensity of the negotiations that have been going on for the past few weeks as the various political parties have agonised over finding a solution in time for today’s deadline. No amount of time given was too much. Isn’t it a great pity that they couldn’t apply the same intensity to sorting out the mess that is our Health Service? For starters, we critically need a proper debate on the whole subject of co-located hospitals. The saying “nothing focuses the mind like a deadline” holds so true. What the HSE needs now is a new deadline for making progress – or maybe a kick up the Aras would work better!