Not so much looking down as across..

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Suffer little children to come to me - later - maybe in 2015

Suffer little children to come to me – later
Welcome to the new children’s hospital
Coming to a town nearish to you, well near enough, well nearly near enough.
A Government which has no money announced today it was going to spend 650m it doesn’t have in closing down children's hospitals so as to build a new one.
Consultants were paid huge amounts of money to come up with some suggestions. Please name one disaster that has not been recommended by consultants. Your answers on a post card.
Why not ask the children or the doctors?
Too simple? Too cheap?
I have previously argued that we don’t need a general election, what we need is a national government.
Reluctantly I have to accept that the present Government is stuck in a time warp.
They have ended up believing their own propaganda.
No one can save them, not even their closest family.
Let’s have an election, and then form a national government.
Let’s buy a ticket to Brussels for every consultant and wish them well.
Let’s give the power back to the people
To the local hospitals and enterprise boards.
Let’s close down the HSE, and when we are at it FAS, and redesign Bord Failte and Enterprise Ireland.
Let’s start all over again.
I was visiting a sick child recently in Our Lady’s Hospital for sick children in Crumlin.
They are in the middle of building a brand new wing – because the need is urgent.
I half suspect they have figured out that the new hospital at the Mater site will never happen.
A little like the Bertie Bowl.
Mary Harney had the good sense to block that piece of political folly by Bertie.
Now someone needs to do the same to the MaterChildren's hospital.
I hear on the grape vine the promoters may struggling to raise a mere 25m for selling the most generous tax breaks I have ever heard of in my life.
If we cannot persuade people to invest 50k to get tax breaks of 180k how do we expect to get private donations of 100m?
It would assume that people still have the money. I doubt it.
It would assume that the new project generates goodwill. I doubt that too. On the contrary, the project seems to generate great reservations on the part of many excellent health professionals involved in children’s care.
The new hospital has a flawed image and no amount of sticking plaster will help it.
The project lost its chairman the past week.
Amazingly no statement has been made by the outgoing chairman, by the minister, by the HSE.
We have to assume the worst - that the chairman saw the game was up and there was no point in delaying the inevitable.
I have heard that the public car park would have to be built underground making it many times more expensive than surface or multi-storey car parks in other parts of the country.
People will not pay parking fees of 3 euro an hour to visit their sick child.
The Government has only shown expertise in closing beds wards and hospitals.
It needs to use the same expertise to keep wards open at a fraction of the cost of building a new hospital.
The world changed when the twin towers came down in a storm of apocalyptic dust.
The world changed far more subtly and far more widely when Lehmans came down.
We will never see the same level of money in our lifetime.
Maybe it is better we don’t.
We will have to learn, like the Cubans, to make old machinery work again and prolong the lifeof many things long beyond their planned obsolescence date.
After Lehmans we are living in the equivalent of a post nuclear financial world. If we don’t change - we will end up in the Dinosaur graveyard, assuming someone is kind enough to bury us.
Our children deserve better........


  1. great post Padraic - you said it all really - I agree about the HSE behemoth - they are a grinding bureaucracy with so many layers they of management accountability gets lost along the way. The debacle of the children's hospital is another example of the ineptitude of the govt. and the developers who must have had a say in the site chosen - how could it work there, digging underground for car parking instead of moving to a greenfield site or at least to Tallaght where the M50 would probably be an access if it doesn't end up another car park. It's all a bit depressing really, even though I'm a Labour member, I hope they don't sign up to any consensus with the govt. over the budget as I see that as a way for the govt to spread the blame for the draconian budget they'll bring in anyway. Time for a revolution or at least another march on the Dáil for a general election this time !
    All the best, Catherine. (by the way I replied over on my blog to your comment on apple jelly - in case you don't have comment notification on)

  2. Thanks Catherine on both counts. I love your Blog page. It is so busy and and full of gadgets. Maybe like your home! Enjoy the jam! P

  3. Dear Padraic,
    I think you have addressed serious and valid concerns. When it comes to lack of health or educational services to children, it's the adults' responsibility to fight for justice. But unfortunately there is too much of politics involved.

    I liked your reference to the Cuban people. I have visited that country in the past, and it's like going back in time. Old cars, old buildings, old everything...and just as you described it, people had to make obsolete things work, beyond our imagination.

    Thanks Padraic for visiting my blog, and for your kind comment. I understand your turmoil, which is the concern of most of my residents' families. In that particular case, I just wanted to outline the resident's faith resulting in such an expected ending. What I didn't mention is that Mrs. Lewis may just stay at home for a few months, as her health will most likely decline, and she will go back to a nursing home. At least she had the chance be at home for the last time :-)



  4. Thanks Doris for your wonderful blog. While some of us may try to talk the talk in our posts, you walk the walk every day in your dedicated job! Keep up the good work. Blessings!

  5. Padraic - I just left an award for you over at my blog - hope you don't mind and may even do the "things about me" task that goes with it - meant to be a light-hearted thing, a bit of fun. I kind of agree with that you said there about older people and the burden of care when the state doesn't provide for them - in your comment over on Doris's blog. Awful in one way that the girl had to quit her job to mind the granny and there seems to be no homecare safety net in the US anyway - here it's still there but the budget could hit home helps and supports in a bad way.
    All the best, Catherine.

  6. Hi Catherine. Thanks very much of thinking of me. I am honoured to be mentioned in your blog. My initial thought is that most of me is already exposed to the blogosphere and any more might be uncomely! I will reflect however and see how I can do justice to your kind award. I am in the happy position that I can keep in touch with my mum on daily basis. She is 90 and is fiercely independent. Keep up the good work! P.