Scandal of old people on hospital trolleys

The HSE is controlled by unqualified clerks

How many ninety-year-olds now have been left for a full day or more on hospital trolleys in Irish A&E departments?

It doesn’t matter.

What matters is that our health service has been hijacked by employees with no medical training and no managerial expertise, people whose only skill is passing civil service interviews.

This is the class of people who have decided that a person with cancer, even if they happen to be a regular patient,  must go through A&E with the drunks and the junkies if they feel unwell. This is the class of unfeeling pen-pusher who might decide to defer treatment for women with breast cancer in order to make the administration easier for them and their subordinates.

This is the sort of individual, as we saw in the case of Tallaght Hospital, whose first instinct was to investigate how the scandal of an old person on a hospital trolley was leaked to the press before trying to understand why such a thing should have happened in the first place.

Make no mistake about this.. The word “management” is a misnomer in the HSE, just as it is in the Irish public service as a whole. Old people are not lying on hospital trolleys because of bad management.  Women with breast cancer are not being herded together like cattle because of bad management.  These things are happening because it suits the needs of administrators — the same administrators who started their careers in the HSE and local authorities as junior clerks, and who never managed to escape their limitations.

These people joined the local council at an early age and spent the first ten years of their careers issuing dog licences.

People in the care of the HSE are dying because the dog-licence people somehow came to be called managers, and what’s worse, came to think of themselves as managers when in fact many of them are hardly fit to keep track of the photocopier.  TK Maxx has a lot to answer for.

How do we solve the problem of the HSE?

I don’t know. Now that so many administrators have persuaded themselves that they really are managers and not just jumped-up clerks, perhaps the only answer is to buy them off with a handsome pension because in the end it might be cheaper. The only way, in my opinion, to run a proper public health service is to put experts in charge. Nurses, doctors, physiotherapists. People with real-world experience of health care and real managerial skills.

What’s the alternative?

An endless history of terrified, sleep-deprived old people tortured on emergency-department hospital trolleys?



5 thoughts on “Scandal of old people on hospital trolleys

  1. Bock,

    Fair comment and all absolutely true although I don’t know what the reference to TK Max adds to your argument, why impugn the integrity of a chain store that has nothing to do with the blatant mismanagement of our health service.

  2. Bock,

    I too agree with every word you said about this shambles of an organisation, but like Gerry I don’t understand the reference to TK Maxx.

  3. I have watched as the last few weeks, the 7th floor of the Mater hospital has been shut down, room by room. When family member with terminal cancer had to be readmitted due to severe reaction to trial drugs, she was in Mater A&E on a trolley for 24 hours, in the knowledge that there is a state of the art, very new entire floor, full of beds, shut down.

    She considered herself lucky, other cancer patients were actually sitting on the floor, yes, the floor. That is the kind of economic recovery we are in.

  4. Well said. Obviously experienced Nurses & doctors in charge of the HSE would be the obvious solution but as long as I am alive the HSE has been nothing more than a money maker for senior pen pushers who are in the clique. Look at the farce that is this National Children’s Hospital that’s supposed to be built. The HSE just isn’t fit for purpose but has it ever been any other way

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