Let’s Get Talking!


I wrote a post the other day to highlight the continuing scandal of the unacceptable waiting times in our health service, pointing out that it’s ‘Time for Change’.  The response was a deafening silence bar one comment from an ardent Aussie blogger, Baino, who has the balls and the ability to speak out about injustice whenever she sees it. I know that people are probably sick of listening to me harping on about healthcare problems  but I happen to believe that if you don’t make your voice heard, the scandalous state of our health service will continue unabated. People tend to say nothing until/unless it affects their own lives. Trouble is, by then it’s probably too late.

The point I’m really trying to make is that it’s time we had a proper debate on the way forward for the health service. There seems to be almost universal agreement that our Minister for Health, Mary Harney is going in the wrong direction in her attempts to reform the health service yet no one is shouting STOP! The only people who seem to approve of Harney’s measures, are her buddies in cabinet and the muppets in the HSE and we all know why that is. It’s openly acknowledged that the health portfolio is a bum job and that Harney is the only one willing to tackle it but she’s made a balls of the job and it’s time someone tackled her. Harney’s policies are clearly not working but because no-one else wants the job, she’s allowed to continue. It’s patently obvious that she needs pointing in a new direction but to achieve this, we have to first agree on the best way forward.

For starters, the HSE needs to be disbanded. It’s a bureaucratic nightmare that is soaking up funds intended for frontline services and Harney should have got rid of it years ago. We should instead, utilise the brains of the top entrepreneurs in this country to motivate a change in direction. We need more consultation with those who work at the frontline of healthcare, to help devise tangible ways to solve the problems. Our health service has a fantastic wealth of expertise but it’s being thwarted at every turn by cutbacks and morale has reached an all-time low. It’s time to take the politics out of healthcare and to put back the pride in our health service.

I firmly believe that it’s not too late to stop the rot but this won’t happen unless people put their heads together to turn the situation around. The only way to get the health service back on track is if everyone pulls together to make it happen. I urge you to make your voice heard but please don’t wait until it’s too late!

Thanks Baino for stimulating me to shout a bit louder today.

8 Responses to Let’s Get Talking!

  1. Bendy Girl says:

    Steph, I’ve been struck by the extent to which the situation in Ireland mirrors the situation in GB with the health service. It seems to me that Mary Heaney is the equivalent figure to Patricia Hewitt (she who was booed by nurses when she insisted the NHS had just had its best year ever) Happily Hewitt is now gone and there are finally rumblings of politicians wanting clinicians to engage. Lets hope Ireland heads in the same direction.
    Hope all is well in your life, Hugs from your bendy friend x

  2. Grannymar says:


    If Mary Heaney were to go tomorrow – who would you put in her place? Is there anyone in politics today with the skill and entrepreneurial vision to make change?

    Americans stood up and were counted just a few short weeks ago, they showed that CHANGE is possible with the will of the people. Why can’t a little country like Ireland do the same instead of just moaning about those in power?

  3. elly parker says:

    Steph, it’s one of 2 things when people don’t reply – either the topic doesn’t interest them and they’ve quickly clicked on, or you’ve made such a good case that they simply agree with you 100% – in that case they don’t reply as you can feel a little strange simply typing in “I agree”….

    I tend to think of the internet as today’s de-stressing tool – you find a posting or comment that you don’t agree with, then you go on the attack to vent some of your frustration.

    I tested the theory a while back – leaving a hole in your argument (be it a small one or a huge one) generates much more commentary, as it gives people a starting point to kick off the discussion. Either that, or end the post with a question, as Grannymar often does.

    A final thought – can you do plugins on wordpress.com? I installed the “Subscribe to comments” one on my blog and GM’s – it gives your readers a chance to tick the box if they want to be alerted of any comments made after theirs – this often helps to stimulate ongoing discussion. If WP.com doesn’t support stuff like that, then perhaps you should ask that nice son of yours to set you up a self-hosted WP blog for xmas!! 🙂

  4. Steph says:

    Hi! BG

    Hewitt, she blew it! 😉

    I’m sorry but that name always makes me laugh ever since I sat on a car ferry years ago where the intercom announcer had a bad stammer and repeatedly requested “Purser Hew..hew..hew..HEWitt” to come to the canteen.

    Grannymar – I’m not out to get rid of Harney. I don’t agree with her policies but with the right guidance, I believe she’s capable of turning things around. I think she’s been badly advised by that shower in the Dept of Health and the HSE. She understands the workings of the health service so rather than booting her out, it would make more sense to change her advisors.

    Elly – you made me smile 🙂

    I take all your advice on board and thank you for it! I didn’t mean to imply that my loyal commenters weren’t getting off their arses to comment. They are very supportive of my mission to highlight the faults within the health service and I don’t blame them one bit if they’re sick of listening to me moaning about it. The point I was really trying to get across was that the silence across the airwaves and media in general, was unbelievable considering the public outrage following Susie Long’s death. It’s almost as if people have become resigned to accepting the faults within the system. I want people to wake-up and realise that the situation is not acceptable because people’s lives are at stake here. There’s no room for complacency where survival is concerned.

    In answer to your question, unfortunately WordPress does not offer a “subscribe to comments” facility. I totally agree that it’s a useful tool for ongoing discussion and something which I should consider. I’ve dropped a not-so-subtle hint around here for Christmas! 😉

  5. Baino says:

    Steph the problem doesn’t always lie with the politicians. They’re the decision makers for sure but the public service that advises them is often so entrenched in old ways that it doesn’t matter who’s in power. I’d be tackling the Chief Medical Officer or their equivalent. Politicians come and go but these knackers stay in power for years waiting to collect their civil service pensions . . I know . . I’ve worked with them! It’s probably the Health Department that needs a good shake up and THAT my friend is the job of a politician . . .yours just sound lazy. Maintain the rage!

  6. Steph says:

    Cheers! Baino

    I completely echo your sentiment. Have a look at my reply to Grannymar, above.

    I’m not out to knock Harney off her pedestal. She’s knows the ropes of the health portfolio at this stage, it’s her advisers that need to go. I’d like to see a captain of industry move in to advise Harney and completely re-vamp the health service from top to bottom. It needs radical life-saving surgery to rescue it! We don’t need outside consultants, we’ve got enough successful entrepreneurs in this country who have the expertise needed.

  7. Pete McCleane says:

    Mary Harney has done what she started out to do – she got rid of Charlie Haughey. Unfortunately, since then she has been on a mission to take an easy life at the expense of the Irish people. She has continuously displayed her prediliction for corruption (as minister in charge of FAS she appointed her husband, Brian Geoghegan, as chairman of FAS – nice salary too, coming into the Harney household. She used an Aer Corps aircraft to bring her to the west of Ireland to open an off licence because she was too LAZY to drive there – a complete ABUSE of authority, and she claimed a hairdo from the Irish people on a “jolly” to the USA).

    Has anybody else noted a startling similiarity to “Jabba the Hut” from the Star Wars movie? I think its high time that “Harney the Hut” did the Irish people a favour and disappeared into the abyss before she spends more of the taxpayers money in a tribunal dedicated to investigate her as a corrupt politician. And maybe some people on the Health Service waiting list will survive as long as she’s not assisting delays in their treatment!

    I say get rid of the arrogant, fat cow – NOW!

    The Irish people don’t want her. As she’ll find out if she has the gall to seek further re-election!


  8. Steph says:

    Hello Pete

    Thanks for your comment. I think it’s fair to say that you don’t like Harney. I don’t much like her either but I don’t equate her image with her ability to do her job. She is known as being one of the hardest working politicians we’ve ever had. It’s her policies that deserve criticism.

    As I’ve already stated, Harney has been made a scapegoat for FF. She’s been very badly advised and has made herself very unpopular in the process. I think she’ll be forced to go eventually as it’s only a matter of time before another scandal emerges from the health service. Frankly, the sooner we get a fresh look at sorting out the health service, the better.

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