It is sad reflection on the way we, as a society have gone in the intervening years since 1982. Obviously the mighty pound or euro was always king, as the bottom line of the VAT on children's shoes was of course money, however, I do think that the scandals we have witnessed in the last number of months would surely have brought down governments in the 1970s and 1980s. Our total obsession with the Celtic Tiger economy and fast-paced life in recent years has undoubtedly had some horrible side-effects on our sense of morals, equality, community and doing what is right.
It is unbelievable that we as a democratic society have not yet demanded more. When Fiannna Fail was returned to power in the last election, the majority of Irish voters refused to hold the government responsible for the shambles that is our health service. The truly appalling and outrageous state of our health service and the numerous scandals with regard to the likes of mammograms, ultrasounds, dirty hospitals and indeed the constant reduction and elimination of various services in many hospitals around the country were ignored because in general most people are relatively well-off and comfortable today in comparison to the the 1970s, 1980s and even the early 1990s.
Mary Harney has said that she will not resign but that if the Dail fires her that is a different matter, which lets face it, is as likely as me becoming a svelte size 10 this side of Christmas!
We should all hang our head in shame;
- shame for those who have lost their lives because they were turned away from hospitals,
- shame for women who lost their wombs because of one doctors ego-mania,
- shame for the far too numerous women in this country who have spent the last number of weeks waiting for re-assessment,
- shame for those women who now have finally had a cancer diagnosis,
- shame for those patients who have died or live with the after-effects of MRSA and other super-bugs,
- shame for those currently fighting cancer who have on the one hand been told that treatment in centers of excellence improves their chances whilst on the other hand none of the other requisite infrastructure for accommodation and travel to back up their treatment has been put in place
and shame that we will undoubtedly allow the new health strategy for larger regional hospitals to be put in place again without the requisite infrastructure (adequate numbers of ambulances and trained paramedics, air-ambulances etc.) to back up the improved chances of treatment in these centres of excellence with the critical mass of population.