News reports which leave out the government’s failings and rate the players based on their attendance records in the Dail create false pretence and is damaging to democracy. One can only presume our journalists are either blind or have their pockets lined by the hands of Fine Gael, either way we all need to make a little effort to set the record straight.
To provide some context the journalist rated the Minister for Health with a 6/10 but make up your own mind after some of the facts from 2017.
Simon Harris Minister for Health
As part of the young Fine Gael movement Simon Harris became minister for Health in May 2016 at the age of 29. A qualified appointment or a name pulled from the hat, it’s hard to tell how FG do business, what I do know is that Simon studied Journalism and French in DIT but failed to finish his degree, not that you’d expect any of this lot to hold a qualification, relevant or not.
Year one as Health Minister was not a success for Simon Harris either, by December 2016 there were 84,316 people waiting longer than 12 months on the outpatient waiting list. By November 2017 that figure hit an all time high of 134,637 (an increase of 60%).
Patients in some cases have to wait over 9 years for an outpatient appointment according to the Times.
Latest figures show almost 680,000 people remain on public hospital waiting lists for various procedures. Another all time high.
As of November 2017 over 9,206 people aged 75 and over reported to have been left waiting over a day to be examined or treated.
Presumably the Minister is busy playing Pogs and exchanging Pokemon with the Boy Taoiseach as the Health crisis multiplies, but why let facts and figures prevent the lucky dip Minister from getting a 6/10.
Yet the Minister is fortunate to have a job in my opinion. A huge story before Christmas was an incompetent ‘individual’ in Kerry General Hospital was responsible for three serious incidents of delayed diagnosis which resulted in the review of 46,000 scans for 26,000 patients. Who is responsible? Hard to tell when the Minister didn’t make a statement.
Our hospitals are clearly are not running efficiently, the system is well and truly broken and the buck stops with Simon Harris, KerryLivesMatter, the Minister should have been asked to resign over this, the stakes here are peoples lives and well being, people living in Kerry are not second class citizens.
Simon avoided strike action by our Nurses this year with the promise of recruiting extra staff, a gamble which may prove to be his downfall but does earn him a point. Simon also gets two points for supporting abortion on demand up to 12 weeks. Unfortunately 3/10 doesn’t earn you a pass in the real world and you can only assume his struggle in the most difficult department, not wrapped up in whistleblowing controversies, will continue in 2018.
If anyone has a story about their experience with the Irish Health system please leave a comment or DM me on Twitter, Facebook, or e-mail.
Part five will be posted Friday, covering Paschal Donohoe who got the journalist's gold star with a rating of 8/10.
Picture featured in the Irish Independent @Independent_ie artist unknown.