My cows get better health service than the public do – says Dunmanway Cllr

January 26th, 2020 11:05 AM

By Kieran O'Mahony

‘Butters’ the cow is one of Declan Hurley’s herd which, he says, is ‘getting a better health service than the people of this country’. Butters also helped his owner to propose to his now wife, Catherine, last summer.

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A WEST Cork councillor said his herd at home are getting a better health service than the people of this country.
Cllr Declan Hurley (Ind) made the comment at a meeting of the local authority, where a suspension of standing orders was sought to discuss the ongoing health crisis.
Cllr Hurley – who recently got married – said they have all seen the images and headlines and said that it’s clear to say that there is ‘nobody at the wheel’ or in charge.
‘Coming from my perspective my herd at home are getting a better health service than people of this country. There’s no animal who would be allowed go through what people are going through inside in hospitals and wards,’ said Cllr Hurley.
‘It’s a disgrace and someone needs to take the bull by the horns, so to speak. It’s absolutely scary what is going on and I want to thank the staff who are working and going through hell there.’
Cllr Ben Dalton O’Sullivan (Ind), who had sought the suspension of standing orders, said the health service is at ‘breaking point’ and the ongoing trolley and bed crisis cannot continue.
‘We’ve all seen reports recently of 760 patients lef waiting on trolleys up and down the country in A&E departments, surgeries were cancelled in two major Cork hospitals, and thousands of people are forced to access cross-border surgeries in Belfast or other EU countries,’ said Cllr O’Sullivan.
‘The health service is in a state which I don’t believe this country has ever seen before, and it’s at breaking point and as public representatives we need to be united and write to Minister Harris and call on him to take emergency action.’
He said he heard a story of a nurse recently who feels a level of personal responsibility for the A&E, which has been described as ‘third world’.
‘She says she goes home and cries because she knows she can’t provide an appropriate level of service for her patients. It’s totally unfair on the nurses and doctors and we need concrete emergency action and I don’t think we can sit here anymore and say this is working.’
Cllr Danny Collins (Ind) said people’s lives are at risk at this stage and highlighted the fact that there is a fully equipped A&E at Bantry General Hospital which closes at 7pm every evening. ‘This is ridiculous and if there was an emergency down in Allihies or Mizen Head, for example, it would take someone up to two hours to travel from there up to CUH,’ said Cllr Collins.
‘We also have doctors, nurses and paramedics who are totally overworked and in some cases blaming themselves for the crisis. Minister Harris just sat back and did nothing.’
Cllr Paul Hayes (SF) said they have been ‘setting records for all the wrong reasons’ regarding trolleys.
‘We do need to take pressure off A&E departments and the frontline staff. We have fantastic facilities like Bantry General Hospital and Mallow Hospital, for example, and we could outsource services to take pressure off the likes of CUH. There are solutions out there, but there doesn’t seem to be a willingness to tackle it, which is having a knock-on effect for people expecting elective surgeries,’ said Cllr Hayes.
Cllr Hayes said he spoke to a cancer patient in Clonakilty recently who was due a very important operation, but it was ancelled due to the lack of beds. ‘In that case they are facing another round of chemotherapy and radium, so they build up their strength again to face the operation in a few months’ time.’

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