A group of angry protesters gathered this morning outside the gates of Waterford Regional Hospital. The peaceful protest was being held in frustration over the long waiting lists many of the patients experience at this hospital.
The father of an 11-year-old girl, who was among the protesters, said that his daughter has now already been waiting for more than two-and-a-half years to get her tonsils removed. This is not a particularly difficult or unusual operation. It is done many times every day without fuss in most European countries. (I remember very well to have had the operation in Germany, more than 40 years ago, when I was a child myself. It was all over in a few days and I never had any problems with my throat since.)
The 11-year-old Waterford girl is currently in the hospital, where she receives treatment for severe tonsillitis, which could be relieved if her tonsils were removed. She has asked for Mary Harney, Minister for Health and Children (right) to come to her bedside and explain to her why she must wait another possible two to three years to have her operation.
Sadly Mary Harney will not oblige, as she is too busy ruining the Irish Health Service even further and opening a whole string of private hospitals at the same time.
Today's local protest in Waterford is only the latest in a long line of public demonstrations against the HSE and a completely incompetent and cynical minister, who was unfortunately kept in her position when the new Taoiseach Brian Cowen announced his first cabinet.
Recently there have been even larger demonstrations of angry patients and disappointed doctors and nurses in Portlaoise, Sligo, Castlebar and - on March 29th - the protest march through Dublin, organised by the Dublin Council of Trade Unions.
One wonders how many more protests and demonstrations it needs to make the government listen and understand, and the Health Service Executive (HSE) do what they were created for:
to act in the interest of Ireland's sick people.
The Emerald Islander