Women, healthcare and apologies

 

Sir, – I had a colposcopy at the start of September, and the consultant advised the team I should have the biopsies taken from my cervix sent to a lab. He told me I would hear back in a few weeks. I called the Rotunda on September 16th and heard the automated recording that there is a 15-week wait for results. On the HSE website it states results will take up to six weeks.

To see how women who had taken the private route were treated, I emailed the Mater, where I received a response on the same day telling me that the turnaround for results is between 10 and 20 days.

What use is an apology to women and their families from the Taoiseach if we have to wait 10 times longer than women who can afford private healthcare? Given our neoliberal Government and its fondness of consultants and outsourcing instead of investment in public services, it is hardly remiss of me to suggest some level of outsourcing to the labs which can turn around results in 10 to 20 days. The women in the colposcopy unit in the Rotunda are so kind, empathic and caring, and they too are suffering as a result of the massive increase in appointments in their clinic without any additional resources.

I emailed the office of Minister for Health Simon Harris on September 17th querying the waiting time. I have followed up four times and to date I have heard absolutely nothing back. No one cares about the anxiety and worry I and other women have to endure unnecessarily.

Women in this State are literally dying because of the lack of care and urgency given to their bodies.

After all the cover-ups, lies and trauma, women and their families have been through, apologies are worthless unless something actually changes.

There is no excuse for it. – Yours, etc,

CAROLINE MITCHELL,

Dublin 3.