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An accident or emergency in ireland. Attending an Irish HSE Hospital. What you need to know.

Updated on January 30, 2014
Irish Bailout and the Health Services
Irish Bailout and the Health Services

Irish Healthcare - What you need to know

Ireland's Public Health System needs reform.
Ireland's Public Health System needs reform.

Protest at Kerry General Hospital in 2012

Kerry General Hospital 2012 Protest
Kerry General Hospital 2012 Protest

There are many HSE protests in Ireland now

Protest to save ambulance service in Cork
Protest to save ambulance service in Cork
Hospital beds are being closed when they are desperately needed
Hospital beds are being closed when they are desperately needed
Nurses have been hit by HSE cutbacks too
Nurses have been hit by HSE cutbacks too
Cuts have annihilated some health services
Cuts have annihilated some health services
Sometimes no painkillers available in Accident and Emergency
Sometimes no painkillers available in Accident and Emergency

A 92 hour wait for a vital operation to 4 partially severed fingers, 2 broken.

What do you think about a 92 hour wait for a vital operation to 4 partially severed fingers (2 also fractured)?

See results

Health Services in Ireland. The scandalous truth.

This is a letter that was recently aired on an Irish Radio Station i.e. Radio Kerry link below.

With this letter I tried to really get to the heart of how bad things have become for the average taxpayers in Ireland since the economy crashed back in 2008. Also since our government saddled us with billions of Bank debt. A lot of this Bank debt was the result of a small number of reckless property tycoons who took out countless loans most of which should never have been approved to begin with.

So when the property boom crashed some of these legged it out of the country and left the mess behind them. The government then had to borrow billions from the European Union to bail out the banks. They say it was to save the country from going bankrupt but this is a dubious story at best. Or a lie at worst?

Irish Taxpayer carrying the can for the Economic crash:

Like so many ordinary Irish people my family never particularly benefited from the boom. I worked as an Accounts Administrator for much of it and didn't earn a lot. My husband works as a mechanic and didn't even get a raise during the boom as this trade took a serious nose dive due to an awful lot of people choosing to trade their cars rather than repair them or buy second hand cars.

So for me this letter below clearly depicts how the ordinary Irish taxpayer is now being heavily penalized for the greed and lack of foresight of its government. As well as for the lack of accountability of some reckless Irish property tycoons and the complete indifference of some Bankers who together all brought about the ultimate destruction of the once buoyant Irish economy.

The consequences for Irish citizens because of the EU/IMF Bailout:

Letter aired on Radio Kerry on 18/07/2013

Dear Jerry,

I listen to your show as often as I can and I am emailing you today in the hopes that you might highlight what so many people in the South of Ireland are going through when they have to go to an A&E Department as the result of an accident. This happened to my husband last week and what followed was a complete and utter nightmare that went on for days.

I saw this headline last week while I waited with my seriously injured husband at Cork University Hospital. ‘Dáil bar stayed open until 5am.’ The slant of this particular article was in the context of a certain Cork TD involved in the now viral ‘lapgate incident.’ Meanwhile at his local hospital i.e. Cork University Hospital the scenario could not have been more different.

Our nightmare had begun the Wednesday evening before when my husband had a very distressing lawnmower accident. He caught his right hand in the lawnmowers blades. At first glance we noticed that a part of his small finger was missing. Also that a couple of his other fingers were barely attached and we were immediately very concerned about his losing his hand.

So as quickly as possible we rushed off for Kerry General Hospital fearing the worst. We were probably there for four hours and felt he got good care there. But as is now the norm they could not deal with the stitching of that particular type of injury. Instead we would have to travel to Cork University Hospital to consult with a Plastic Surgeon.
The next morning after getting only a few hours sleep we had to face the two and a half hour journey to Cork at 6.30am. My husband felt every pothole on the road as he was in great pain. We breathed a sigh of relief when we got to the Soft Tissues Department at Cork University Hospital.

Now I realize in hindsight that the ordeal was only beginning. His hand was not examined or dressed until about 3.30pm that day. At the time I was also appalled that there was no pain relief offered to him at all. My husband cringed in severe agony throughout the whole process. When I asked when he would get pain relief I was told, ‘I don’t think we have anything here?’ So I had to go across to the Wilton Shopping Centre and get the prescription we had gotten in Kerry General hospital the night before. I was incredulous that this was the care provided for a patient who had four almost completely, severed fingers. One finger was fractured and another was broken and he also had multiple open wounds on his hand.

At 5.00pm that day he was told that there was no bed for him that night or any Plastic Surgeon free to operate on his hand. They were simply too overrun with patients and too lacking in available staff.

That night I had to drive back down to Kerry alone to attend to our children as I knew my autistic son would be getting very anxious if I stayed away for a second night. My husband eventually had to stay in Cork in a Bed and Breakfast. He was in severe pain throughout and the only painkillers that he still had were those I had gotten for him earlier.

The next morning it was back to Cork University Hospital again. Once again my husband waited in vain for a bed. Finally this oasis appeared but then there was still no Surgeon to attend to his badly wounded hand. It would be operated on the next day definitely he was told.

So on Saturday (the accident happened Wednesday) I sat by the phone all day hoping and praying that my husband’s hand would be seen to. At 5.45 that evening he was once again told they were too busy to perform the surgery that day. I cried in desperation. How could we let this happen in our country? How do we allow the weak and vulnerable to suffer like this while Bankers simply laugh about it all on tape?

On the fourth day, he once again had to stay in hospital endlessly waiting. At this stage he had also been fasting continuously for three days and was very weak. On top of this we were both becoming increasingly stressed and were wondering whether his hand would ever be okay again to allow him to return to work. His work involves the use of his hands.

I did note too that the staff at Cork University Hospital, are working under tremendous stress. For them the unimaginable for us is now something that they see every day i.e. a sea of people needing attention and simply no resources available to help them.

Finally on Sunday afternoon more than ninety hours after this serious accident the operation was performed on my husband’s hand. Obviously this too was a traumatic affair. Initially not enough morphine was administered followed by a painkiller that caused a severe reaction. What is left of my his hand now is still uncertain. I am not sure yet and neither is my husband. What we do know is that this is now a lifelong long condition and one that will always make us wonder is it because of an unfortunate accident or because of the never ending lack of resources that has now given us a third world medical system.

At times I felt like the chaos at Cork University Hospital was like a scene from a war torn country i.e. the battle was over and now the foot soldiers were paying the price while the generals drank port and observed from a safe distance.
To me it was a clear snapshot of the stark reality of Ireland’s bailout and the total rebuttal of the meaningless statement ‘The HSE frontline services won’t be affected.’They have not only been affected but in my opinion have also now been annihilated

Is it any wonder then that the world is now looking on and wondering how we as a nation of people can let this happen to our own?"

Comments on Ireland's Health Service Executive by Irish people

There were many comments on this letter which was aired on radio Kerry on 18/07/2013. One that struck a particular chord with me (many of them did but this one particularly sticks out in my mind) i.e. an Irish businessman had an accident in China where he cut one of his fingers. It then took just 17 minutes from the time of the accident for this man's finger to be completely attended to and he was then ready to leave the hospital.

Yet here in Ireland where human rights violations are supposed to be uncommon a man had four partially severed fingers and two of which were fractured also. Along with having many open wounds on his right hand.Also being right handed this hand is considered vital to him to earn a living. Yet he was forced to wait 92 hours in an Irish hospital for basic medical care. Is this a total violation of our human rights here in Ireland? Do you think that the average Irish taxpayer is now being forced to pay the price for the greed and incompetence of their leaders?

I would love to get some feedback on what people from other countries think?

Other comments on the Radio Kerry Facebook page at the time:

  1. This is really bad its looks like our health care has now become third world care is it any wonder when we have Ministers go on hols for 12 weeks we need to hold these people accountable for everything in this country as is they are getting of scott free
  2. If you go to a vet surgery you get better care, it's all wrong , we are all paying the price , it's unreal this story of this poor man
  3. This is horrific and this is not acceptable my heart goes out to this man and woman but this is just a drop in the ocean and glad its been highlighted
  4. That is scandalous, you would want to be on deaths door to be seen straight away now days in A&E and no disrespect to the front line staff.
  5. I'm sorry to hear this terrible story and wish your husband and you a speedy recovery. You should write directly to your local FG TD and the health minister. It's an utter disgrace but you can be sure no-one in the HSE has the foggiest. Straight to the top and also write to RTE. A scandal needs to break on what is unfortunately a daily occurrence in every hospital in the country. What can be done? I really don't know but the frontline are struggling and lives are being lost.
  6. I can hardly believe what I have just read! that poor man and his wife... it is an utter disgrace that the most vulnerable people are being treated in this manner whilst we witness the shenanigans of bankers and property developers!!

What do you think?

If you are Irish and have an opinion on this I would love to hear from you. Have you ever been through anything like this experience? Also are things this bad in other countries? Would you personally accept this in your local hospital? I would love to get some comments on this.

Are we Iirsh a bit complacent about the effects of the EU Bailout?


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