Sunday, May 25, 2008

HUDSON news!
Congratulations to Valerie and Ronan Byrne on the birth of their daughter, Keeva and to Sarah Hudson and Brian Gill on their recent marriage.

Birthday wishes to Anne Clarke, Briencan who celebrates the big 60 this month and to former Briencan neighbour, Tommy Evans on sharing his 50th birthday with son David who reached 30!

Congratulations to Maureen Middleton and staff of St Vincent’s de Paul whose window “Platter of Paddies” won the best dressed window amongst the St Vincent De Paul group in the region; neighbour Marion had the idea to run with shamrocks to dress the window with pics of famous “Paddys” in the centre (eg Padraig Harrington). Nice one, Ladies!

GET WELL WISHES to Kitty Shannon, Councillor Billy Hillis, Des Kennedy and Elizabeth O Connor Deegan; the Bugle is delighted to hear that local artist Fiona Barrett is recovered and touring Australia at the moment!

IN boxed advert Mother & Toddler Group with graphic:
We meet from 10.30am to 12 noon every Tuesday at The Resource Centre excludingthe first Tuesday of the month when we go to The Playbarn in Blessington for 10am.Arrive or leave at any time and come as often or as seldom as you like. New Members always welcome! Contact Una Bagge at 085 7581600
2 Baby pics here:
Aaahhhhhhhh, they don’t come much cuter than these :
little Simon Pearse born to Liz and Peter

Baby Maryanne Deegan, born to Lorna and Gary Deegan on New Year’s Eve – and delivered by Supergran, Mary! “We all knew Mary was talented but this time, she really pushed the boundary out – pregnant women, take note!” says Janet Deegan. Congrats all round to the mighty Deegan women, Maryanne, Mum Lorna and Gran Mary.

Condolences to the Gale family on the death of Mrs Joan Gale of Swordlestown. Predeceased by her husband Johnny who was a successful jockey in his day, Joan is survived by her sons Martin and Dermot, daughters in law, grandchildren and extended family. Joan, who was in her late eighties, died whilst residing in a nursing home but had enjoyed remarkably good health into her eighties. Hugely interested in equestrian sports, Joan was also involved with the ISPCA and had requested that no flowers be sent to her funeral service, donations to be directed instead to the ISPCA (Irish Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals)
May she rest in peace, amen.

Your Local CDA – in a reverse header please?
The Ballymore Eustace Community Development Association Ltd (CDA) represents the residents of the village. The CDA is the umbrella organisation for Tidy Towns, Meals on Wheels, Punchestown Festival Committee, Friendship Club, Community Alert, Bingo , Ballymore Bugle and Hall Committee. It is the owner of the River Walk and Resource Centre. It also intends to provide another community resource in the near future on the site of the old council library.
The CDA works to ensure the village grows in a sustainable and attractive manner; we have made submissions on the County Development Plan and will take a primary role in the Local Area Plan.
Any suggestions or comments welcome. Contact Fiona Breslin (Chairperson CDA), Honeysuckle House, Bishopsland, Ballymore Eustace. 087-9956085

How’s Yer Health? With Jeffers

I hope it’s good, and long may it stay that way. This enquiry about your welfare is because of an article I read in the Features page of the Irish Times over the weekend, March ’08. If you haven’t read it don’t rush out and get a copy for it would put the frighteners on you. Sara Burke, a freelance journalist and health policy analyst wrote the article, and it is the first part of a two part investigation. It is well researched and documented covering the problems of the HSE not only the failures at Portlaoise but the organisations troubles since inception. You may well ask what am I doing writing about such a topsy turvy set up as the HSE when it is being adequately covered by M/s Burke. Well it’s not my plan to overwrite what M/s Burke has to say, just to highlight some of the goings on that have been taking place since the formation of the HSE. ‘Fools rush in where angels fear to tread’ I hear you say. I have no wish to be on the side of fools, but putting myself on the side of angels could cause a Stewarts inquiry here on the home front!
First up was a report from a former Dublin city manager a Mr John Fitzgerald who was asked to do a review on the problems that arose from the cancer controversy. According to Mr Fitzgerald’s report problems arose from ‘systemic problems of governance management and communication’ and his conclusion was, ‘ that there was a fundamental weakness in the management and governance of the process from the outset because there was no authoritative co-ordination and management role established’. Amen to that, but notice there were no names mentioned. No names no pack drill. Why not I would ask. Surely somebody was in charge! But back to the beginning. In the year 2000 there were 11 regional health boards. These were considered to lack consistency and were overly influenced by local politicians. Nothing new there! The grand plan was to bring them all under one umbrella ie, the NHS. Micheal Martin was the Minister for Health at the time and between December 2001 and June 2003 presided over no less than five health reports, the National Health Strategy, the Primary Care Strategy, the Prospectus report, the Hanly report and the Brennan report. I presume that these reports were covering various aspects of our Health system and from them were born our present HSE that came into existence in January 2005. But first we had an interim HSE board in November 2003 that was chaired by a guy called Kevin Kelly. A former director of AIB and former director of the Irish Management Institute, and former president of the Irish Banking Federation, you could say that this fellow had been round the block! Powering brokering of the highest order. Under his tutelage ‘patients’ became ‘clients’ and health and social care became a commodity. In all this hustle and bustle to reform, the fundamental inequalities in the Health Service were not addressed; those who can afford private care can access medical services quicker than those who cannot. Until these inequalities are sorted out trolley queues will remain.
On the days before the HSE went into action staff and management were still unclear as to the new structures and mechanisms; in short nobody had a bull’s notion of what was going on, or what their new responsibilities would be. Then in November 2004 in steps a new Minister of Health Mary Harney, and makes a profound statement. The key to the Health bill says she is “clarity”. Clarity of roles, and clarity of responsibility! Put that in your pipe and smoke it. We are now in the year 2008 and the one ingredient that seems to be missing in our dysfunctional health system is clarity. There is no shortage of experts working on the problems. Professor Drumn is head of the posse and he has apparently six other experts to give him a hand out, or should that be ‘dig out’, at a cost of a million a year. Small change indeed. He has his very own ‘strategic advisor’. Every one should have one I say. They are all beavering away at the top of the heap seeking solutions to the problem. The good Professor himself is on €400,000 a year, and maybe he’s worth it, but for that kind of dough the public expect results, sooner rather than later.
But is our Department of Health any worse than other Departments? Take for example our Transport Department. Our new Port Tunnel hardly opened a wet week and traffic diverted from it due to some hick up. Our roads and railroads a disgrace. Recently I met a couple from Perth Australia who had arrived by ferry at Dun Laoighaire It took them two hours to cross the city to get onto the road west, the N 6. They were heading for Loughrea where I met them. In casual conversation I enquired what were their first impressions of Ireland. “ Well your highways are not great” was the reply. When I informed them that our N 6 was supposed to be one of our better ones an embarrassed silence ensured. Burgeoning bureaucracy rules OK, no matter what department is up for discussion. Set up an ‘impact study group’ an await results that may take forever to come to fruition is the order of the day. It’s a way out for individual politicians to answer awkward questions, and called ‘passing the buck.’ All you have to do is live long enough, and it shall come to pass. We all from time to time get caught up in traffic chaos, or spend ages at some department counter seeking information, and if you live long enough the traffic will move, or you’ll get an answer, but when it’s your health is involved there may not be the time to wait should you suffer some serious illness or accident, and that’s the vital difference between the Department of Health and other Departments. If you have an appendix needing immediate attention, setting up ‘an impact study group’ will be of little assistance to you.
Years ago I went to have my tonsils out. The porter at the entrance directed me to ward X; there a pretty nurse with clip board in hand took down all particulars, directed me to a bed and ordered me to undress and climb in. She was back in jig time, took my clothes and departed with them. The time taken, less than ten minutes. Eighteen months ago I went for a minor operation on my shoulder. I was half an hour in admittance, and I must confess to having used a bit of pull, bypassing a large number of people with tickets in hand waiting to be called. Progress? Get a move on Professor Drumn.
God between us an all harm. Stay healthy. Yrs Jeffers.

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