Another Year Waiting

With Ireland’s entry for the Eurovision song contest featuring in the news today, I found myself humming along to the tune of “What’s Another Year?”, Johnny Logan’s winning entry in 1980. Those were the days when we were told to tighten our belts while those in power were quite literally feeding off our taxes. Our health service was starved of funds at a time when it’s infrastructure required huge investment to meet with the demands of a rapidly expanding population. Hospitals wards were closed down causing delays throughout the system. Our present crumbling health service is testament to the government neglect of that era. Today’s waiting lists have escalated to the point where people are dying while they await treatment. The lyrics of the song below are very poignant when you consider the number of people suffering as they wait to see a specialist, in order to access crucial treatment.

I’ve been waiting such a long time,
looking out for you
But you’re not here
What’s another year?

I’ve been praying such a long time
It’s the only way to hide the fear
What’s another year?

I’ve been crying such a long time
With such a lot of pain in every tear

What’s another year? What’s another Y-E-A-R?

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.

We’ve waited for long enough. It’s time for our Minister for Health to get off the stage. She gets “Nil Pointe” from me. And by the way, Dustin gets my vote for Taoiseach!

6 Responses to Another Year Waiting

  1. Grannymar says:

    Steph is there anyone suitable to take up the reins and DO something about the Health service?

  2. Steph says:

    Grannymar – I used to think that Mary Harney was the right person to sort out the health service based on her previous performance in government, but I’ve long since changed my mind on this.

    Caoimhin’s comment today on my post on The Health Debate, will give you some good logic on the situation.

  3. Caoimhin says:

    So much money has been pumped into the Health and Education system since Johnny first sang those words that they could’ve built brand new, from the ground up, both systems that would be state-of-the-art and beacons of technology at the dawn of the 21st Century. Instead we have turkeys, in politics, in civil service, and in industry where they struggle to achieve mediocrity. A sense of responsibility, accountability, and pride of workmanship cannot be budgeted, it should come from examples set by leadership; but, from the recent events we have seen, that is unlikely to happen anytime soon.
    Thanks for the compliment Steph and the link in the previous post, and best of luck to you in the upcoming awards! 🙂

  4. Ian says:


    I was reflecting this morning that I pay for health care three times over – as self employed there is a 2% levy on my earnings, then I pay the VHI premiums, and then I pay cash on the nail to see the GP and for prescriptions. If it was not for dogma, we could pool all that money and have an excellent health service. We are constantly fed the line about “low taxes” but when you add up all the things that we have to pay for on top, our taxes are very high.

  5. Steph says:

    Thanks, Caoimhin

    And the very best of luck to you too (I saw you!) – will we see you there? I’m going along for the fun of it though I think I’ll probably come home feeling like a right old foggie!

    Ian – thanks

    I hope you know to submit ALL healthcare expenses for tax relief at the end of the year? The VHI is very cute the way they only reimburse for ‘eligible’ out-patient expenses – e.g. for a €50 GP visit , only €19 is considered eligible. We fork out €€€’s up front and then find that the eligible expenses are also subjected to an annual excess deduction! I used to have the whole family covered under the one plan but then I got wise and insisted that we have four different policies to meet individual healthcare needs. All it took was a bit of research and the savings are substantial. I guess Baino would be proud of me for reading the small print 😉

    To be fair to VHI, their in-patient cover is good (when you’re lucky enough to get a bed) and I’ve benefited greatly from full cover over the years. Having said that, I still haven’t forgiven them for turning down my application for overseas funding for surgery in the UK last year. They had to relent in the end as I fulfilled all the criteria, but not before they’d made me sweat it out.

  6. Caoimhin says:

    Hi Steph and thanks! No, unfortunately I can’t get away to attend; but, hopefully there will be some kind of video coming from the Awards?? I’m sure it will be a great time! 🙂

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