We walked the streets, we stood at the Dail, we negotiated, we demanded, we begged,
we pleaded and we told them what would happen but they did not listen, they ignored
us, they fed us Valium to keep us quiet, they did things behind our backs, they promised
one thing and did another, they pretended to be on our side, they denounced us as
trouble makers, they called us scare-mongerers, they told us their plans were for
safety reasons, they told us we would have better services, they told us it was international
best practice, they told us it would save lives, we told them we did not believe
them, they dismissed us. Who are these people - they are the people who made the
decisions to remove services from Monaghan General Hospital, they are the people
who implemented the plans drawn up by others, they are the people who did not object
to the plans, they are the people who kept quiet and let it happen for the party’s
sake, they are the people who have helped cause the major problems in our health
services and who must take responsibility for the consequences to so many patients
and their families.
We have overcrowding in our A & E’s, we have overcrowding in our wards, we have overcrowding
on our corridors, we have overcrowding in our clinics, we have overcrowding in our
waiting lists and these are the ‘better services’ we were promised!!?? We have long
waits for ambulances and long journeys to reach hospitals. We have poor roadways
to get to the hospitals and a long wait to be seen by a consultant. Top consultants
tell us that people are dying as a result of the overcrowding, that clinical mistakes
are being made due to pressure and stress on staff, that infection cannot be controlled
in the crowded hospitals – that it is unsafe. Authorities claimed Monaghan General
Hospital was ‘unsafe’, which was untrue but which they said was why they had to remove
services. What are they doing now to remove the ‘unsafe’ condition of our hospitals?
They are discharging patients before they are fit to be discharged and let someone
else take the blame.
Our ambulance service in this part of the country is particularly bad and not fit
for purpose. Too often we are hearing that there are big delays in the ambulance
getting to the patient. Recently an ambulance had to come from Dundalk to attend
a heart attack patient. It took over an hour for it to arrive and then there was
the question as to which hospital to take the patient and which hospital could they
get to fastest as the patient needed urgent care. Two and a half hours wait for hospital
care during a heart attack is not acceptable and does not give the patient much of
a chance to survive. How many did not make it? There were other cases too – where
an ambulance had to come to Monaghan from Longford!! and where other long delays
in an ambulance arriving for an emergency.
This has got to change and we have got to persuade our politicians that they must
act and act now. This time perhaps more citizens will realise the real benefit we
had with the excellent medical and cardiac services in Monaghan General Hospital.
Many might consider the number of lives that were saved by reaching Monaghan General
Hospital in time for intervention. Many might realise that no one knows who will
be next to need the services in Monaghan General Hospital. Local media and representatives
have gone quiet on the hospital issue. It is time to put on the pressure.