Tag Archives: Ireland

Junior Doctor Working Hours – Severe Penalties Needed

Reading the article ‘The Sound of Junior Doctors Cracking Under the Strain’ by Paul Cullen in today’s Irish Times leaves me astonished and incredulous that the European Union is not holding the Irish Government to account, through severe penalties and through holding individuals in positions of authority responsible, over the issue of hugely excessive, dangerous and health-damaging hours being worked by junior doctors in Irish hospitals. Apparently, not only have the hospital authorities, the Minister for Health and the Government treated European working time directives with contempt, they seem to have allowed, with full knowledge, a situation to exist where the junior doctors do not now even receive overtime payments for the hours that somehow they feel constrained to work. The medical profession itself surely has a lot to answer for too. How can a caring profession participate in the treatment of its own members in such a manner?

The solution to the problem would seem very simple on the face of it. Any person in authority at any level who knowingly allows a junior hospital doctor to exceed the working time directive while under their authority must be held responsible and the organisation responsible must be made to pay appropriately high penalties that would put an immediate end to the current improper and unjustifiable practices. Likewise, the Irish Government must be held to account by the European Community. The Irish Health and Safety Authority must also be held accountable, or empowered in this regard, whichever is necessary.

It is strange indeed that many of the best and brightest school leavers in Ireland do not seem deterred by the working conditions and lifestyle that await them some short years on, when they decide to undertake the long hard road of study and work to become doctors. Surely, caring should be at the heart of any caring profession.

My Reasons for Voting No in the Irish Fiscal Stability Treaty Referendum of 31 May 2012

I don’t want more bailouts for banks. I want fairness for plain people. I am not happy with the proposed Irish constitutional amendment that would incorporate the ‘Treaty on Stability, Co-ordination and Governance in the Economic and Monetary Union done at Brussels on the 2nd day of March 2012’ in a new subsection. I have made a list of my reasons for voting ‘No’ in the referendum.
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Build the National Paediatric Hospital!

I am very disappointed at recent developments in relation to the proposed new Irish National Paediatric Hospital, which had the endorsement of so many, and was to be constructed at the site of the Mater Hospital. The process of replacing existing inadequate facilities has been far too protracted, but to have had a fully designed, developed and agreed plan rejected by An Board Pleanála, seemingly without appropriate forewarning, when so much time and money had been invested in the project, is deplorable. Ireland is a democratic country and there are planning processes in place. However, this present situation begs that the processes of democracy, good governance and planning step up to meet the challenge of preventing further unjustifiable delay and waste.
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