Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Wednesday, 18th January 2006

JUST WHEN you think things couldn't get worse they get worse. The figures presented by the INO (Irish Nurses Organisation) of 422 patients on trolleys in A&E Departments around the country are truly shocking. It seems incredible that a year after promising to solve the A&E Crisis by April 2005 and we're still seeing this type of situation.

In a non health service related topic, we're beginning the preparations for this year's 1916 celebration. I'm Chair of the Liberty Project that has as it's aim to celebrate the role of the Labour movement in Irish history - in particular the events surrounding 1916 while exploring the significance in today's world of the struggle for equality and freedom.

We're planning the month of April for events - I'll post more details as soon as I have should be interesting....

Friday, January 06, 2006

Happy New Year

Happy New Year to all you bloggers out there! This is my first post of 2006 and I hope it'll be first of many and regular postings...

New Years Day began with a kick-start - the traditional New Years Day charity swim in Bray, as I do every year. This has to be the greatest hangover cure of all time-blowing away all cobwebs from the previous night's festivities. The water was absolutely freezing, as expected, but it was great to see such an impressive turn out.

THIS year will no doubt be an exciting one in politics with a general election looming. The recent holidays were needed to recharge the batteries. Despite the fact that the Dail is not yet back the Christmas holidays already seem like a distant memory!

2006 began with the announcement of the Exchequer returns for 2005. Those who work in the health services and those who have had to endure long waiting lists and long waits on trolleys in our A&E units must be shocked that around E136m went unspent last year. While money is far from the only answer in relation to the health services, but I'm sure all will agree that there are areas that targeted spending is desperately needed.

I'm currently working on finalising our Primary Health Care document, which I hope to launch in the next few weeks, so it's definitely back to work time...