Christina McQuillan – Open Letter to Simon Harris

lourdesAn open letter from Christina McQuillan to Minister for Health Simon Harris

“Dear Mr. Simon Harris,

As you are are more than likely tucked up in your warm cosy bed I just thought I would give you a very brief over view of my observations at our lady of Lourdes hospital today as I feel it is extremely important because you most be totally oblivious to what is going on if you can actually sleep at night!!

I’m not going to go into deep personal details about why I was up there today but I was accompanying my very sick and poorly grand father as we were left in the waiting room on extremely uncomfortable seats while waiting on a trolley (not even a bed) for 6 hours – my dad is now up with him as he sits in same spot in a lot of pain and distressed but has got to the stage where he doesn’t want to complain because he said “I feel like everybody is sick of me”. He has been admitted and released from hospital a number twice / 3 times in the past few weeks.

From my hours of sitting and observing I seen ONE nurse assessing every single patient who walked through the door, look for beds, call doctors, as well as attend an emergency out the front involving a woman who was highly intoxicated on some sort of substance and due to this the gardi and the hospital security were verbally abused and humiliated at the front of the emergency department grounds.

The waiting room was severely over crowded! There was little to no seats with people standing in order to let the elderly and children sit.

Just a brief mention how there was no ambulance available to take my grandad to hospital when his gp phoned.

Mr Harris I really have to ask you do you really feel you are doing enough? Mr Harris I challenge you to sit in this waiting room for 7 or 8 hours like myself and my grandad done this evening and imagine how you would feel if a yourself or a family member was extremely poorly sitting on a wooden uncomfortable chair in a lot of pain due to being ill, dehydrated, low blood pressure and that’s only a a few to list.

I can’t begin to describe how helpless I felt today. Not only towards my grandad but to the staff who were being extremely over worked and ridiculously underpaid for what they do. I really wanted to walk upto every one and tell them how much they are appreciated by us – may I ask when was the last time you personally thanked the members of the Hse for the work they carried out.

We have a decent size suitable hospital just a couple of minutes down the road in Louth – the over crowding could easily be avoided if you opened it back up!

I’m not claiming to be a td or a know it all. But one thing I do know for sure is our health system is in a state! I do not believe you are doing your upmost as our minister for health for trying to fix it!! I know as a country we have fallen on hard times in recent years and cuts have to be made but for god sakes our health is our wealth – and you are robbing it from us!!

As you sleep soundly with your health in a warm bed my grandad still sits on the same seat since he has this hours on end and he had a note from his gp stating he needs URGENT CARE.

I hope you sleep well Mr Harris as I can assure you there is many people up in that hospital tonight and their family who won’t!”

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