At a protest on Sunday to reopen the Accident and Emergency unit at Ennis General Hospital, Cllr Clare Colleran Molloy branded the HSE as a “bureaucratic monster”.
An estimated crowd of between two hundred and fifty to three hundred showed up in Ennis on Sunday afternoon with Colleran Molloy telling them “Fair play to you all for showing up, it is a disappointing showing to be fair in light of the fact that we’re seeing incredible images and stories emanating from Limerick”.
Clare feels that the essential services in the county were stripped away too soon. “One would wonder is it a case of the horse having bolted too quickly and can it be put back in the stable or is it a case of putting the cart before the horse, I’m mixing up my clichés but what I’m basically saying is we have stripped away Ennis from its essential services for the people of Clare but we’ve done it too quickly, too soon because we don’t have those necessary services available to us”.
“I’m calling on the powers that be which are the deputies here standing before you to implement those policies and apply the resources that are needed for Ennis to immediately start alleviating the problem in Limerick, there is a need for an immediate call to action not just from me as a councillor on the Ennis Municipal District and on Clare County Council but from all Ennis Municipal District councillors who met on Friday morning and this was a cross-party consensus and we need the government to work in conjunction with all parties in the Dáil to immediately apply resources to alleviate the problem, that’s a short-term suggestion I am making as an elected representative”.
A member of Clare County Council since 2014, the Fianna Fáil member called for Ennis to be upgraded to a model three hospital. “The second more medium term is the fact that in the Mid-West region here we do not have a model three hospital, why is that? That needs to be questioned and answers need to be given, we need our model three hospital to either be Ennis, Nenagh or St John’s and why shouldn’t it be Ennis to serve the 117,000 people that live in Co Clare, we are doing a terrible disservice to our people”.
She expressed her disappointment with Minister for Health Simon Harris’ involvement with the HSE and outlined her disgust with the provider of Ireland’s public health services. “The long-term suggestion, we’re all listening to the people who know better than I, I am aware that this is a complex problem and I’m aware there are no simple answers but what I’m looking at, listening to the people who know better is the monster bureaucratic entity that we’ve created in the HSE, I’m not complaining about any particular frontline staff they’re doing their best under very difficult circumstances but there is no doubt about it, we all as a government, as a people through our government policies created the HSE which to my mind has become a bureaucratic monster, the Minister’s involvement is to some degree not very effective”.
There is a lack of good governance in her view regarding the HSE. “I read this morning for the first time and I’m continuously learning about this, that the board of directors with the HSE, an external board were done away with by Minister O’Reilly that clearly indicates that this is not a matter of very effective influence by government where you don’t have a board of directors ensuring good governance, that’s the long term problem that we have as a society to exert those influences on our elected representatives to ensure that change happens into the future”.