If I wasn't in the process of studying for my undergraduate degree, I would seriously consider leaving this miserable country.
The more often I come into contact with the Irish health service, the more annoyed and frustrated I become. Health Minister Mary Harney, in my opinion, has set about destroying the health service.
In Sligo, the general hospital resembles a shell compared with what it once was -- dilapidated wards, beds being closed, staff laid off and cancer services transferred to an over-stretched facility in Galway.
It seems to me, and others, that the minister is slowly trying to downgrade Sligo General Hospital and will ultimately close it, if and when she has the chance.
The way in which the 'centres of excellence' are organised nationwide seems to be determined by population and demographics, but no consideration has been given to patient comfort or the fact that people may have to travel up to four or five hours -- as from north Donegal to Galway -- for treatment.
It is disgraceful to think that sick or dying people are forced to travel such long distances to arrive at over-stretched facilities such as those in Galway.
Instead of the Government cutting the health budget, maybe they should consider cutting their own hefty salaries.
But we all know this will never happen. Irish politics is simply too corrupt and those in power think it is their divine right to milk the country dry while the people suffer.
Billions of euro of tax-payers' money is being thrown at Anglo Irish Bank, basically to fix the mistakes made by greedy and selfish bankers and developers. The taxpayer is being forced to pay for the greed and corruption, while bankers, developers and many of those in government get off largely scot-free.
This country has serious problems, largely to do with those in power, and it is time people took a stand to do something about it.
The health service is a sham, and I am sure this problem extends well beyond the north-west.
People should either stand up for their basic human rights or else leave the country, because I can't see it getting much better.
Ballisodare, Co Sligo