Well hello to anyone still there!
First up an apology.........2 weeks ago I spent a fantastic week in Lanzarote, doing nothing more than reaching for another beer or ordering another steak sandwich, since I got back I've been easing myself back into the daily grind and my obligations to the blog suffered too.
So I go away, and the weather here is pretty good, relatively warm and sunny for the time of year. Step off the plane in Lanzarote and spend a week in the balmy temps and generally get very brown. Come back, and in the space of a week......Ireland must have become member of the Baltic States Alliance. I thought it was supposed to be getting warmer. Now maybe my hypothamalus was needing a bit of time to re-adjust but in the past 2 weeks I can't get the heat into me......unless, I'm in work, which brings me nicely into the current condition on the ground in the Irish Health Service.
Some of you may be aware that recently the organisation that runs the public health service in Ireland has had to tighten its belt considerably as its facing a budget overrun of about €250 million for this year. With that in mind they've pulled back on a number of things to try and save money. Mostly their action is based around a total recruitment freeze. No staff of any grade or function to be taken on at all. Initially this was meant to last for a month, but as most of us expected its been extended to January. Supposedly, this will not effect patient care, and our glorious Health Minister has gone on record on this, though over the past week or so the news has reported several incidences where this is most definitely affecting patient care and service delivery. I've also heard that we're now at the stage, were nurse to patient ratios are rising, mainly because wards access to agency nursing staff to cover sick leave etc is being severely curtailed.
Basically we're all suffering now for the ineptitude of the service administrators and managers. Is it only a matter of time before patients conditions start detoriating and heaven forbid maybe die because the system is failing yet again. How long before we see large numbers of staff leaving, unable and unwilling to deal with the pressure and stress of the public service. Lured by the shiny and pretty well funded private sector hospitals that seem to springing up with increasing regularity around the country. Already 3 of my workmates are either leaving or in the process of interviewing for such places. If we start losing our brightest and best, where will that leave us?
I'm sure over the next while things will develop further, hopefully not for the worst, time will tell I guess. I'm starting a week of night duty now, so depending on how well behaved the patients are you might get another post this week. If there happen to be any regular readers who'd like to ask anything in particular, just leave the comment and I'll see what I can do.
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