I listened with profound sadness to news on the radio this morning that Susie Long (41) from Callan, Co. Kilkenny had died over the weekend. Susie was a brave, intelligent, articulate woman who was not afraid to speak out about the inequities in our health service today. She believed in social justice and was totally against the need for private health insurance and a 2-tier healthcare system. She was diagnosed with terminal bowel cancer in March 2006 having waited 7 months (following referral by her GP) for screening in the public health service. By the time she received her initial diagnosis it was already too late – her cancer was classified as terminal. Susie wrote an email to ‘Liveline’ in January this year to express her anger at the delays in the service. She used the pseudonym of ‘Rosie’ to protect her family from unwanted attention. Her subsequent interview with Joe Duffy on his radio programme ‘Liveline’ was incredibly moving and touched many people’s hearts. It was hugely successful in highlighting the failures in our health service and certainly did not go unnoticed by our Minister for Health. Susie spoke with great dignity and achieved more in that interview than most patient lobby groups could ever hope to achieve.
The important point here is that Susie was badly let-down by our healthcare system. Our government should hang their heads in shame for allowing the health service to deteriorate to the point where it fails patients. Susie advocated on behalf of all patients to bring about change in the system which had failed her. Her husband and children must be very proud of her – we all should be. One thing is certain, Susie will never be forgotten.
Susie was concerned that she may not have done enough to make a difference. She MADE A HUGE DIFFERENCE! Rest in peace, Susie.
It’s an absolute disgrace. This country’s government and health system is pathethic. We are a country which runs on greed and inequality. Why are we immating the American healthcare model as opposed to the German model? Why is there large investments in building private hospitals which increases inequalities and prices ordinary people out accessing healthcare?
I cannot understand why a population of about 4 million cannot organise an efficient healthcare system. We are supposedly one of the richest countries in the world (per capita) with a tiny population that cannot provide healthcare to the most vulnerable in society. Ridiculous!
Money is being wasted on consultants, admin staff and private investment while people like Susie (RIP) are being ignored. Is profit and wealth more important than life? We pay health insurance to get seen faster. Money talks in this country! Is that the attitude of the government which runs this country? No excuse!
You’re right Eoin. Our healthcare system is a disgrace and it’s set to worsen with the apartheid two-tier system which Harney is determined to implement. Care should be delivered according to need not the ability to pay. What we really need is a service based on universal health insurance and single-tier care – similar to Canada, Germany and Austria.
Susie Long was one very special person. I did not know her personally but her sad story has gripped my heart and evoked in me a huge anger for change. I’m not alone.
WHAT HAPPENED TO THE HYPOCRATIC OATH,I STUPIDLY THOUGHT THAT NEEDY PEOPLE WOULD BE LOOKED AFTER REGARDLESS OF INCOME!WHAT KIND OF A SOCIETY HAV WE BECOME!R.I.P. SUSIE.
Susie and I met when we were 7 yrs old. We went to school together and became best friends. As adults, she moved to her wonderful Ireland and we kept in touch for the most part. My husband died of cancer and Susie and her two beautiful children came back to Ohio and visited me. I saw her every time she was here for a visit. I moved a few years back to Colorado and lost touch with her. A friend of mine had said they heard she was ill and I searched the internet for the hospital she may have been in as I no longer had her phone number. It was on that Friday, that horrible Friday, that I found out. The day she passed was the day I so desperately looked to find her. I am so full of regret. I am so very proud of her fight. I am so angry with what she had to go through. I am a nurse of 20 years and I can only honor my childhood best friend by hoping to know her friends, her colleagues, her family better than I was able in previous years. Please, anyone who knew her, please email me with anything you’d like to share and please pass this on as I wouls love to hear stories of my dear friend and I am ever so longing to share mine. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you so much, Laura
[…] Susie Long sadly wasn’t able to wait another year. Her premature death from bowel cancer last October, was directly attributable to a long delay on a waiting list. By the time her diagnosis was made, it was already too late. Susie bravely used her own plight to highlight the inadequacies in the public health system. She succeeded in mobilising the country into thinking about where we are going as a society. I still feel outraged for the way our health service failed her. Yesterday should have been Susie’s 42nd birthday. […]
[…] gave a very moving address to honour the wishes of his late wife, Susie Long. Susie’s untimely death last year was brought about by the direct failure of this government […]
[…] sure most people reading this will remember the tragic case of Susie Long from Kilkenny, who died from bowel cancer last year. Susie made headlines when she went public to […]
[…] of need only. The delay in the public system, is putting people’s lives at risk. Remember Susie Long? I’m not prepared to risk my health because of our government’s failure to provide an […]