The Department of Health and Children is in Hawkins St. in Dublin 2. Hawkins St. is a short street.
At the end of the street there is a memorial in Victorian style to Constable Patrick Sheehan who died, in 1905, trying to rescue a workman from a gas filled sewer.
The gas must be still there, affecting the Minister for Health.
The Health Service Executive is, currently, dysfunctional and a failure. It has failed on a number of fronts but consistently it has failed on the issue of hospital hygiene. The extreme cases of Ennis General Hospital and now St. Columcille’s Hospital where multiple deaths through nosocomial infections have taken place are representative of the general situation.
The Minister’s response to the situation is bizarre, and reported HERE:
She pointed out that the health service has a national plan to tackle health acquired infections which would see them reduced by 20% in the coming years, and MRSA in particular by 30%.
This would involve a reduction in the use of antibiotics, she said, of 20%.
The reference to antibiotics is a reference to her theory that health care infections are caused by the evolution of microbes. She attributes the evolution to excessive use of antibiotics.
She is not deterred in her assertions by any contrary evidence. Like the fact that Irish hospitals have a low standard of hygiene and that poor hospital hygiene is the cause of the infections. Or the fact that Clostridium difficile has not perceptibly evolved. Clostridium difficile is the infection that caused the deaths in Ennis and St. Columcille’s.
One can only feel, if the gas is not the explanation for her views, that she is motivated by the fact that no person or institution is answerable for excessive use of antibiotics and no legal liability would attach to the HSE if her view prevails.