Stop Irish Gov. abusing our basic right to social security(right to medical help when ill)
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I decided to write this piece because as an Irish citizen two of my basic human rights are being violated by the Irish government. In fact, as a vulnerable member of Irish society, two very necessary rights are being grievously, outrageously, for everyone to see, and on a constant basis, being neglected on a consistent basis. I am being discriminated against and my right to social security, which includes the right to affordable housing, enough money to live on and medical help as I am ill, is being blatantly denied. Am I the only one? Am I a part of a minority? Unfortunately the answer is no to both; there are thousands of us. I now wonder is there a week that goes by without a news story of some atrocity of the homeless or of some HSE scandal that does doesn’t shock me to the core. However I cannot tell other people’s stories; but I will try not to bore you with mine.
I have a medical card and I have social housing. Now to all you well enough to work for a wage, which may disqualify you for either of the above, might be thinking what a fortunate person I am – I have it all sorted – very little outgoings – what do I have to worry about - no mortgage around my neck - no €50 fee for the doctor every time I visit. I know that you are thinking these things because I was you and I thought them too. I am a teacher. I used to work full time and came across people with medical cards and social housing and thought that must make financial things simpler, I was a little envious, but I did not want to be them. I loved having a career and I loved the freedom that gave me and the status; yes the status. Then I slowly slid down the not so slippery slope toward chronic illness. Unfortunately all the symptoms were linked to a previous illness and so private insurance was out of the question. I had to start throwing savings and the credit cards at consultant after consultant. I managed to see a Neurologist and get started on some treatment for migraine. I got to get two different treatments underway for endometriosis and I got my underactive thyroid diagnosed. After that the money ran out and I was still ill and in debt. I had no more money and I was now on unpaid sabbatical from work. I had two years to restore my health back into good enough shape to return to work. I though that would be plenty of time– wrong again! On illness benefit, rent allowance and a medical card that was nowhere near enough time.
First I will show a prime example of discrimination. I was looking for a good female GP that would fight my corner when it came to referrals. My sister suggested her doctor; she said she was the best doctor she has ever had and will work really hard to get appointments and find solutions and treatments. This doctor took me on as a favour to my sister, and oh boy, talk about receiving completely different treatment. My sister was a private fee paying client; I was a medical card holder. I explained that my migraines now broke through my medication and I had experienced two auras and blurred vision in one eye. I have a maddening sensation in my left hand and foot. I have constant pain in my neck, shoulder, upper spine, lower back, bones around my eyes, and my knees. I told her I had not tested my bloods for my overactive thyroid in 8 months. I explained about my ever expanding stomach despite loss of weight and that my endometriosis is back with a vengeance. On that very first visit she didn’t bother to physically assess me and sent me away with a diet I should try and no blood test. I went home balling my eyes out. I told my sister and she did not believe me at first as that very same doctor would have examined her thoroughly, taken bloods, referred her as urgent and sent her home with something to manage the pain. I was so annoyed; I made another appointment immediately seeking better treatment. The doctor was frustrated by seeing me yet again and yet again no examination; but she did make referral to a gynecologist after I requested it. I could no longer return to that surgery; I felt so discriminated against.
I have a medical card so I wait for up to a year or more for appointments; it doesn’t matter how sick you are or how much pain you are in, that is the wait and there are plenty others waiting along with you. If I had money to pay for consultant fees or private health insurance I would get appointments within weeks. I ask you how many get sicker and more seriously ill unnecessarily in this country. How many people die unnecessarily in this country? Would I have developed chronic pain, migraine, fibromyalgia and inflammation of the bowel if I had been seen earlier? Would half the people that are on disability, illness benefit, invalidity pension be on those benefits or out there working in good health and not costing the health service?
I am not dying; I have medical conditions that are fixable. I want to go back to work. I want to earn my own money and start paying off my debt; my government and my health service prevent me from doing that. I don’t sleep anymore because of my various symptoms: I don’t sleep – I don’t heal. I live in constant pain, and frustration and now depression because life for me is a vicious circle. I ring consultant’s secretaries chasing appointments. I get my GP to send more letters. I have sent in complaint letters and now I resort to this. I refuse to give up. I want my life back. I can be well again, but my government and health service prevent me from being so. My human rights are being violated to the highest degree on a daily basis, and not just mine, but thousands of Irish citizens who are not well, who are vulnerable and in need.
Help me and many, many others like me and worse, to stand up to the Irish Government, past, present and future, and to the HSE, and stop or basic human rights from such blatant abuse. I hate to include “the HSE”; as far as I am concerned the HSE is an escape goat for the government, someone they can pass the blame to, an administration quagmire and money pit. Please, please do this small thing and quickly sign this petition – let’s stop talking and make this government stand up and be accountable.
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