All Content Copyright emyvale.net
National Day of Protests: Peadar Toibín TD organised a number of Protest Meetings at Hospitals around the country today,
Saturday, January 21st to highlight the shambles in our Health System. The Protest at Monaghan General Hospital was organised by
Olivia Larkin and, perhaps it was short notice, but I would have concluded that the number of people supporting this protest was on
the small side. The majority were senior citizens, men and women, though there were a number of the younger age group. Olivia
explained why we were there and she was correct in everything she said though my proposals go much further that she suggested.
It is a fact that patients are dying needlessly and as a well known expert consultant has claimed recently - delays in getting
treatment causes quite a number of needless deaths each week. That delay can be caused by overcrowding in the A & E but delays
in getting to the hospital in the first place is also a major cause of needless deaths, yet consultants, we were told, were advocating
the removal of A & E from hospitals like Monaghan and causing patients to have to wait until they could reach a hospital much
further away before getting the necessary treatment. Many patients, who survived, had a much more difficult and extended
recovery and alas for some there is no recovery. Monaghan General Hospital should have the ability and capacity to treat 80% of
patient needs and stabilise the 10% to help them get to a high tech hospital for that life saving treatment. Nowadays consultants
and doctors have to specialise in one area/condition and this is the excuse given for not having services in a hospital like Monaghan.
Modern technology is now such that problems can be solved at the press of a button but in the meantime do we have to accept that
people will die needlessly because of overcrowding. shortage of staff, shortage of ambulances, and distance from a hospital. I think
it is time for Ireland to wake up and demand proper services within reach but unfortunately too many take little interest until it is
their turn to look for a hospital in an emergency. By then it might be too late.
Delays are Deadly: The number of patients on chairs, on trolleys, on corridors, in the back of the ambulance outside grew to
frightening levels over the past few weeks and only then did the authorities decide to do something about it. So what did they do -
ask some of the overworked nurses and doctors to work longer hours to relieve the congestion, to send patients home or to
Carehomes, to open Ennis hospital to more patients, to ask patients not to go to A & Es. These are only temporary solutions to a
major problem - a problem caused by the removal of services from Hospitals like Monaghan. Then we heard from a top consultant
when he told the people of Ireland that many patients will die each week needlessly because of the delay in getting them attention
in the overcrowded A & Es, and he was correct in saying so. The amazing thing is that for years we have been claiming that
hundreds of patients are dying needlessly because of the delay in getting treatment. With the hospital so far away, or because there
is no ambulance available immediately, it is too late when some of these patients reach a hospital and get treatment and for others
the delay will mean a longer recovery time and/or a much more difficult outcome. Yes the Consultant is right - delay in getting
treatment in a hospital will mean death for some and so by removing services from hospitals like Monaghan and forcing patients to
be taken to Cavan or Drogheda can be the cause of the needless death; We have continually claimed that 80% of the patients taken
to Cavan could be treated in Monaghan if the protocols were changed. Indeed if the €490million Childrens Hospital could have been
built for that instead of the projected €2billion plus we may have had enough money to make the necessary changes needed in our
Health Care Shambles.
Let me begin by stating clearly that I am in no way criticising the Nurses, Attendants and GPs for the shambles nor am I pointing
the finger at local health managers, who have to work within the system and obey orders from above. So where is my blame
coming to rest? For as long as I have been involved in Health Matters as Chairman of the national group HSAG (Health Services
Action Group) and of the local Community Alliance, we have been forecasting the downhill slide of our health services, leading to a
service, which does not meet the needs of the people of Ireland and the people responsible are our politicians. We put them there,
we pay them an excellent salary and they are unable to provide us with a safe and workable health service.
The ruling Government of the day seems to be guided by vested interests and, even though we have a major vested interest, our
needs do not seem to matter. So we find ourselves in a total mess with various services, emergency services in particular, not
capable of dealing with the requirements. Indeed many members of the HSAG and Community Alliance were persuaded to leave the
organisation by the promises being made by the successive Ministers for Health, promises which never materialised.
We then watched the various Health Boards being scrapped and the HSE formed to cover the entire country. This, we were
informed, would streamline the decision making and we would have a better service. It failed and failed miserably even though we
were paying massive wages. We then had a huge Department of Health with a huge wage bill and a huge HSE with another huge
wage bill and a health system getting worse and worse. Now we are about to set up the Health Boards again and we will spend
millions getting premises and staff for each of these and spend the money, which should be going to increase the medical
manpower and the number of Beds and the rebuilding of services in Hospitals like Monaghan.
Nurses and doctors being trained in Ireland are not staying to work in Ireland and extra beds cannot be put into hospitals unless
there are nurses and doctors to look after the patients in those beds. So why are they not staying here? The conditions of work are
far from attractive in comparison to other countries. Spend money on getting that right. Conditions for ambulance staff is not
attractive and so it is impossible to put extra ambulances on the road. Spend money on getting that right.
We have always claimed that it is most important to get a patient to hospital as quickly as possible. For an ambulance to take 1
hour to get to a call-out in Emyvale is not giving the patient a fair chance of survival and it has been shown in studies that delays in
getting to hospital can be fatal or indeed more difficult to treat due to the delay. It also seems that ambulance personnel begin
treatment and remain with the patient at home and advise that it is better not to go to hospital as the patient will not get a bed for
up to 48 hours and maybe they will not have a trolley but a chair while they wait.
We have always claimed that ‘delays costs lives’ and that the move to ‘Centralisation’ would cause deaths due to delays. Now
Minister Donnelly has given Peadar Toibín facts and figures about delays and the outcomes for patients, which proves our claim.
Delays in getting to the hospital, delays in getting medical attention on arrival, delays in getting a bed in a ward, delays in getting a
diagnosis, and delays in getting treatment means death for many patients. Due to the overcrowding in A & E’s and wards, and the
scarcity of nurses and doctors, mistakes are made from which many die or it makes their recovery much more difficult and
prolonged. In 2021 the figure for mistakes and errors in hospitals totalled over 105,000, which now shows an increasing number
every year. €282 million was paid out last year in compensation and 1.6Billion since 2012. In our hospital group, the RCSI Group,
there were 19,259 last year, the second highest in the country. This does not include Community care and indeed there were many
more in hospitals that went unreported. Surely it is past time for our politicians to set things right and provide us with a proper
service. As we stated when fighting for services to be retained in Monaghan General Hospital – ‘it will only be when you need a
hospital urgently that you will really know why Monaghan General Hospital should have its services returned’. Now is the time to put
the pressure on our representatives, as later will be too late.