Death of a Nobody

Today is World Mental Health Day, and I have promised some people who work in that area that I would write something about that subject today.

In Ireland, mental health is seriously underfunded. We have not alone a high rate of suicide relatively, but accessing treatment for less severe forms of mental illness is difficult.

Government policy here usually consists of bringing out reports and setting up Quangos that will ostensibly deal with the problem, but policies, such as our now decade-old ‘Vision for Change‘ are still just that. Visions. Mirages really.

Some things never change. Continue reading »

Irish doctors targeted by other jurisdictions

Irish GPs are being targeted by other countries – who despite having bigger GP to patient ratios than Ireland – need even more highly-trained GPs to expand their primary care services.

General Practitioners in Ireland are also being targeted by countries such as Canada, the United Kingdom and Qatar to emigrate to those countries because of the international impression that general practice is in crisis in this country. Continue reading »

How many people have died because of austerity?

Some readers may be acquainted with the book The Body Economic by David Stuckler and Sanjay Basu. It examines how austerity and policies of austerity costs lives.

I’m trying to get a handle on many Irish lives have been lost due to the austerity policies followed by our government here in Ireland. Is anybody doing any work in this area – or willing to do some work in this area?

Last week, Prof Trevor Duffy of the Irish Medical Organisation claimed that people had died because of cutbacks and at the Irish Hospital Consultants’ Association AGM in Cork, Dr Gerard Crotty said that people had died unnecessarily because they had been forced to wait on trolleys.

But is it quantifiable?

Has anybody out there got some stats or a way of measuring the extent of mortality due to cutbacks?

If you do, please email me at

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IMO says body should be ashamed of itself for dubious practices (not them)

Today, Monday October 6th, the Irish Medical Organisation accused the HSE of elder abuse, through the practice of writing to older people and requiring them to write back to confirm their place on a waiting list, or lose their place.

This practice, they,say, was one of a number of such practices used by the HSE to massage waiting lists which have been highlighted in recent days. Continue reading »

Don’t believe me if I tell you not a word of this is true

The great Phil Lynott is responsible for the title of this piece. It could double as a motto for this blog. I started this online project with the intention of trying to tell the actual truth (as I saw it) about the health service and hopefully, to encourage others to do the same.

And when some other journalists do that – when they lift the garbage can lid and expose what’s really going on – then it’s more important for me to draw attention to their work than try to compete with my own two cents.

Continue reading »

GPs protest, but Leo says ‘No’

We got an almost perfect illustration the week before last of how and why the health service is so dysfunctional, and how the bust and boom cycle aggravates many of the problems it faces. It’s almost certain that these factors – aggravated and intensified for political reasons – have caused deaths among the Irish population that would otherwise not have happened, so it is an extremely serious and important issue.

The event that demonstrated this fact so effectively was the protest at the Daíl by the National Association of General Practitioners, (NAGP) and the subsequent response from the Minister for Health, Leo Varadkar – which presumably will be his actual response in the upcoming Budget submissions for his Department.

Continue reading »

IMO votes NOT to review how they lost €10 million (We’ll leave it there lads)

The membership of Irish Medical Organisation has voted not to look into the fact that they dropped a cool €10 million euro (and who knows what else) paying off its former chief executive George McNeice. Neither is it going to look into any of the activity that went on while McNeice was chief executive, including the practice of paying the President €100,000 a year but then presenting the President’s wife a bouquet of flowers at the AGM (always in George’s hometown of Killarney) as a ‘thank you’ for her husband’s hard work for the year.

Yes, well, that and the hundred grand they didn’t tell the members about 😉

Continue reading »