It was welcome to note some co-operation between management and unions in the HSE as talks progressed over the weekend on the issue of overcrowding in hospital Emergency Departments (ED).
Driving into work on Monday morning, we noted many cars outside doctors’ surgeries as winter bugs really kick in around this time, with hospitals put under considerable pressure at this busy time .
The HSE ships a lot of criticism from many due to the ongoing trolley situation, which is understandable.
Extra staff are needed as evidenced by the figures we published before Christmas, because the demand for service has increased, as indeed our population has.
We are all living longer and while this might seem a rather obvious point, it is nonetheless legitimate and means that more and more of us require our health services for longer and longer.
Sometimes these facts tend to be lost sight of amidst the many arguments, which have become far too politicised amidst the catcalls which seek a Health Minister’s head on a skewer. Would such a resignation actually help, in reality?
A point also frequently made is how, once one is in the health system, that it works, and works very well.
For example, we learned of a very interesting story in relation to UHW, from an American now resident in the city, who had a most positive experience at Ardkeen, detailing
his experience with an emergency case.
His wife, a Waterford native, was referred by the family GP to UHW due to her high pulse rate, and following an appointment at 12noon, she was sent to the ED where she was treated and was back home by 7pm that same day.
On arrival at UHW, she was given an orange colour symbol to illustrate her level of priority as opposed to red (more serious) or yellow (less serious).
After approximately an hour, her treatment commenced with blood examinations, followed by tests, an x-ray, and an electrocardiogram. She was then put on a drip, before being finally released – all done in just over a half day during the middle of last week.
Perhaps it’s human nature that we tend not to hear of patients’ positive experiences, but they too need airing from time to time. At €200, the patient’s husband believed this represented good value and he reckoned the treatment at UHW was as good as that provided in a large US city.
So when anyone is criticising the Irish health service, in this gentleman’s view, then “all sides ought to be examined – there are good elements at work and they too deserve to be
There’s no doubt that the 24/7 cardiac care issue at UHW must be tackled, and we suspect we’ll be hearing a lot about this from general election candidates in the coming weeks. As was noted at last week’s Emergency Meeting of Waterford City & County Council, called in the wake of Storm Frank, for a time less than a fortnight ago, it was incredibly difficult, if not impossible to drive from Waterford to Cork. Such delays could be a matter of life and death to a cardiac patient and were a life to be lost in an ambulance due to an impassable road, who would be made to answer for such an unnecessary loss of life?