Thursday, 1 May 2014

Medical Card: A Pyrrhic Victory

I don't know whether to be relieved or violently ill. I have seen a chain of events unfold over the last 48 hours that has really turned my stomach. It all started with a labour councillor calling to my door on Tuesday evening. He was, needless to say, met with an earful on my doorstep. He got quite a shock! I admit I may have flipped, just a teeny bit, but in my defence, I have been provoked beyond reason here.

He left with a flea in his ear and returned a few minutes later, pleading with me to contact the TD. I was at pains to point out that I shouldn't have to contact my elected representative - I was still old-fashioned enough to hope the system would just work! After I calmed down, I figured maybe it was time to play by the warped rules of the system; my daily tweets to the minister were getting me nowhere. So I dashed off an email to my local labour TD Mr. Derek Nolan. Within an hour I had been copied on his correspondence to the department on my behalf. Later that evening - after a week of silence - out of the Twittershpere pings a tweet from the Minister Alex White and the HSE HQ. All full of the joys of good PR and imploring me to liaise with them personally. So I liaised my little heart out and gave them chapter and verse of the whole sorry saga of the last 68 (working) days.

First thing this morning - I get an email from the minister to say he's looking into it! We've heard that one before. I wasn't expecting much, a few platitudes, a couple of duff excuses and then a cordial reminder to place a number one after the local candidate next time I decided to exercise my franchise.
An hour later another email arrives from the minister this time with full details of Boy Wonder's medical card: serial number, date of issue - the works. No explanation for the mess was offered, just a here you go - hope you're happy now - perfunctory response. They are trying to use my son's access to adequate health care as a vote gathering exercise. Well sorry to have to tell you guys - I'm taking the card and running as fast as my little legs will carry me away from anything to do with your rotten politics.

Obviously I'm massively relieved to finally have a medical card but I am also nauseated. I have the privilege of an education, I can tactically outwit these people. I can force them into giving my son his rights. There are many who can't. By last count 30,000 discretionary medical cards have been withdrawn since this government took office. This is injustice on an industrial scale and we need to shout stop. It's up to us now.

I'm counting on you all to take up the torch.You'll excuse me if I take a break from the barricades for a while. I'm battle weary and I have promised myself a large glass of wine.