SIMON HARRIS APPOINTED NEW MINISTER FOR HEALTH
HARRIS GETS HEALTH PORTFOLIO WHILE ROSS GETS TRANSPORT ROLE
‘My message very clearly to anyone involved in this row that I am reading about in the papers, put your egos to one side, get in a room and sort this out... What I will not do is allow the possibility of delivering a new maternity hospital to be jeopardised by rows over governance and fiefdom.’
The dispute between members of management of St Vincent’s Hospital and the National Maternity Hospital at Holles Street centres on governance of the new facility. The existing building is considered to be no longer fit for purpose.
In his column in the Sunday Inde- pendent, Minister Ross mentioned his work in journalism regarding semi-State companies.
‘I suddenly recalled that my views on semistates in permanent convalescence – like CIÉ – are well-documented, that I wrote a whole chapter in a book about the very strange goings-on in Iarnród Éireann, that I once suggested that all fares should be restricted to €1 and that there should be wholesale culling of the boards of quangos. I am really looking forward to my first meeting with some of the organisations which have received harsh criticism in this column,’ he wrote. I’VE been told by my children this weekend that I complain a lot.
Their father is always grumpy and I’m always complaining, apparently. Not exactly the Gold Standard in parenting are we? Then I thought, if I had told my parents they were grumpy and moany when I was a kid, I’d probably have gotten a clip round the ear. There is such a thing as teaching kids to express themselves too much. Quite often I wish mine would keep their opinions to themselves.
And to be fair I’ve had reason to complain recently. You see I haven’t been well. I haven’t been well for at least two months. And when I’m not well, I tend not to keep it to myself. I like to share the misery.
Personally, although I have no medical evidence to prove this fact, I think it all goes back to me giving up the fags. I haven’t been right since. I’ve been told I have viral infections, flus and bugs and that it will all pass. My doctor is sick too, – sick of the sight of me because every time I turn up in her surgery I have a different self diagnosis.
I’ve taken antibiotics, inhalers, multi vitamins, probiotics and tonics and I’m still as rough as a badgers backside but nobody is paying me the slightest bit of attention.
My dad rings me when he’s away on a trip and asks me how I am.
‘I’m not a bit well and if I die before you get back, you’ll know I was telling the truth’ I tell him.
‘Right. Sure I’ll talk to you tomorrow’ and he hangs up.
As for Himself. Not a hope of any sympathy from him. His bedside manner consists of telling you to slap a load of Sudocrem on and you’ll be grand. I go back to google and tell him I think I have Lyme Disease. I have most of the symptoms.
He looks up from the soccer match he’s watching and says, ‘ have you been bitten by a tick?’
I can’t recall but maybe what I thought was a hive the other day was actually a tick bite I tell him. I’m not even sure what a tick is, or whether they exist in Ireland but at this point I’m desperate for a definitive diagnosis so I can validate my moaning. He turns up the volume on the telly and ignores me. ‘Did you just hear what I said? I could be seriously ill and you’re more interested in Leicester City winning the cup!’
‘If you are do you think they might sedate you for a while? Just to give us a bit of a break?’ He’s laughing but I detect a sinister undertone.
If I disappear over the next few weeks, make sure to look under the patio!
Minister Simon Harris
Minister Shane Ross