A young child has had the wrong kidney removed, following a medical error at Our Lady's Hospital for Sick Children in Crumlin. The "mistake" that led to a healthy kidney being removed has been described by the hospital as "an unprecedented error", and it also says it has "given its sincere apologies to the family".
Well, leaving modern PR-speak, in which the hospital robed itself immediately, aside, we can call this as what it really is: another unacceptable scandal and blunder in the Irish Health Service. The under-staffed, under-funded and badly managed Health Service, one needs to add.
What good does an apology do in such a case? The young child now faces regular dialysis unless a donor kidney can be found!
These days we always hear very quickly verbal apologies from companies, public services, institutions and organisations when someone fails to function properly or something goes wrong. "We apologise for any inconvenience caused" is now one of the most common phrases heard every day and everywhere in Ireland. But it is not good enough! Not in most cases, and most certainly not in this one!
I am outraged and I wonder how many other Irish people feel like I do when they hear about this. How many more scandals and disasters does it need for Mary Harney to resign or being sacked? And how many more outrages will we take quietly before we turn out en masse for a real demonstration for the improvement of the Irish Health Service?
On March 29th a mere 4000 people supported our march through Dublin. That was more than a disappointment. Where are all those people who claim to be unhappy with the HSE? Not to be found when it is the time to stand up and be counted. Take a leaf out of the book of the IFA. Last Thursday there were more than 10,000 farmers marching through Dublin, for nothing more than money. But when it comes to people's lives and health, all we had was 4000. Shame on you, Ireland!!!
And even more shame on the HSE, which presides with its usual arrogance and ignorance over scandals like the one that just occurred in Crumlin.
According to the hospital "an internal review is under way" and they say that its board of directors "will consider the detail of the review and act where appropriate". Well, another nice mouthful of meaningless PR-waffle. When will people with responsibility in this country ever stand up and acknowledge that they made a mistake and will take the consequences?
The hospital also pointed out that "the family was and continues to be given full support by the hospital staff". Now that is really the crown of it! What else would one expect? To be chucked out and abandoned by the very hospital that just removed the wrong kidney from your sick little child?!
I am not a very emotional man, and usually try to see everything from a distance and with a cool glance of objectivity. But this afternoon, after hearing of this case, I am outraged and very angry. We not only live in a corrupt banana republic where incompetence ruins almost everything, no, we are meanwhile so far down the line that little children are mutilated in hospital by incompetent doctors as well. And all we get offered as a remedy is a verbal apology, an "internal review" and a "consideration of action where it is appropriate".
Well, my fellow Irish people, this is the kind of country you get from Fianna Fáil. And I am sorry to say that you deserve it, after electing the same old dodgers again and again, despite better knowledge. I am only even more sorry for the poor little child and its family who suffer at the hands of incompetent doctors. They have all my empathy and my best wishes.
The Emerald Islander