Thursday 19 January 2017

We cannot always have miracle cure

Belief in the fairytale of medical free rides has given us a monstrous sense of entitlement, writes Emer O'Kelly

Published 10/07/2011 | 05:00

There was a vox pop last week on RTE news of some of the people demonstrating against the downgrading of Roscommon County Hospital, which will no longer have a 24-hour emergency service from tomorrow.

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A woman wearing a neck brace said she had been in what she described, more or less, as a bit of an accident, and had needed an MRI scan of her neck. She said on camera that if Roscommon County Hospital were to be downgraded as is the plan, she would have had to travel to Galway in an ambulance (presumably wearing a temporary brace) and that, she said, "would have been quite uncomfortable". Quite.

Except that it's important that we don't lose touch with reality: being quite uncomfortable for an hour or so isn't life-threatening. Being quite uncomfortable isn't even being in pain. It's certainly not a situation where you clutch the edge of a stretcher, blind with pain and screaming your head off, asking to be put out of your misery.

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