‘IRELAND, as a political State, has lost all of my respect, every last ounce,’ a West Cork publican said, after his recent visit to Cork University Hospital (CUH).
Sam McNicholl, who runs Connolly’s of Leap, posted an emotional appeal on Facebook after he was rushed to CUH last week and came face-to-face with the hospital’s trolley crisis.
Sam was taken to the hospital because his appendix was about to burst, but he said that pain was nothing compared to the shock of seeing the hospital staff stretched to breaking point.
His sense of outrage clearly struck a chord because over 400 people liked his post, which was shared by 29 people.
And there were a massive 149 comments in support of Sam’s belief that Ireland’s rulers are ‘devoid of humanity and full of greed’.
Sam was brought to CUH at 11pm on Monday, January 9th but he soldiered on until 4pm on Tuesday, January 10th when he was wheeled into the operating theatre to have his appendix removed.
It wasn’t the pain that angered him – although he did describe it as being ‘one of the most painful experiences of my short life’ – nor was it the wait because he was dealt with relatively quickly. What made Sam angry was the near-constant pressure being experienced by the hospital staff.
Sam, who came home on Thursday, January 12th and is recovering nicely, said: ‘I feel truly indebted to the hard work and kindness of the hospital staff at CUH. They are my heroes. That is why I wrote this.’
He said he was horrified to see people waiting up to 10 hours in plastic chairs in hallways, just to get seen. And said it near broke his heart to see ‘these amazing doctors and nurses holding this crumbling system together.
‘The staff here at the CUH have been pushed past breaking point. The system here in Ireland is officially broken, the resources are not being allocated to the people. And, in turn, mass suffering is now very real.
‘Elderly people who built this nation lie in trolleys awaiting care, abandoned at their most vulnerable! Can you think of anything more inhumane?’
Sam signed off, saying: ‘I will do everything in my power to fight for the side of justice and care. Does anyone have ideas as to what can be done?’
Lots of people responded. One West Cork woman, Ann Shaw, said: ‘I too have been totally alarmed to see the pressure all the staff are under in CUH and other hospitals when I have been lying on a stretcher needing help at my most vulnerable.
‘I have been amazed at their patience and kindness when their jobs are pushed to the total extremes and, as you say, holding this crumbling system together. Thank you for writing this, it needs to be heard.
‘Many of us, myself included, complain about the system but feel helpless, particularly when sick and in the most weak position. It is then easy to forget when back home and fully recovered.’
Another West Cork woman, Bridget Booth said: ‘I applaud you for voicing your gratitude for the nurses and doctors. Having been a patient many times, I am indebted to their dedication (under the most intolerable situations). I hope you feel 100% very soon and ready to mobilise the support that is needed for these wonderful people.’
A nurse also responded. She thanked Sam for his post and pointed out that small, rural hospitals are similarly stretched.
She maintained there should be more care in the community, such as more long-term beds, home help, and public health nurses, and she said that the Minister for Health and the Government are ‘at fault’.