A Consultant Writes: As a very important senior doctor who practises in one of the elite medical specialties, I am often asked, “What exactly is wrong with the Minister of Health?”
The simple answer is that Mr Harris is suffering from a routine government condition that we experts call Auditory Impairmentis Normalis, also known as profound hearing deficiency.
What happens is that after a long period in charge of the HSE, the minister becomes increasingly deaf to the acute suffering of consultants across the country. He is also prone to other very serious symptoms, such as inane chattering, obsessive self-promotion and votes of no confidence in his ability to deliver quality healthcare.
This is closely linked to Privatus Eradicationitis (the risk of removing private medicine from public hospitals), which could have catastrophic consequences, not least on the salaries of my highly paid colleagues.
Unfortunately, if you are worried about Simon Harris, there is nothing you can do about it.
This week Dr L S Dee warns against cannabis addiction
As a doctor, I am often asked what is a safe amount of cannabis to take before I go to work, sit my exams, say Mass or whatever? The answer of course is there is no such thing as a safe amount of cannabis and anyone who says there is never went to Trinners and studied the potential of addictive substances to undermine the conjunction of the physical and mental metabolisms into a quivering, pathetic manifestation of slobbering retardation.
My advice is to stay well away from any drug, bar a celebratory port after the back nine of course.
That’ll be €70 please; pay at reception. No wait, I need it now! Quickly, administer it. Hurry up man. Look, just gimme a 20 for now to get me over the next 10 minutes… Oh, yes. Lovely and crisp. Yes, yes, stuff it into my pocket! I really needed that… Feel that stress dissipating… so relieving…Wooooooooooooo!
A Doctor Writes:
EARLY morning sickness, or Nausea Meghanonia Normalis to give it its correct medical title, is a highly contagious condition currently associated with the tabloid press.
Usually, the patient suddenly becomes violently sick as a result of being exposed to yet another inane feature about the pregnancy of the Duchess of Sussex, or Princess Markle of Sparkle to use the proper Royal terminology. Symptoms are likely to deteriorate during the run-up to the royal birth when crass headlines, such as “Glowing Meghan – What A Scrummy Mummy”, will almost certainly result in acute queasiness.
If you are suffering from morning sickness, you should stop taking the tabloids immediately or at least consider reading one of the other daily newspapers.
This week shock specialist Dr Simon Harris reflects on what it’s like to feel stunned.
As a doctor, people often say to me, ’Doctor, I am in a terrible state of shock and I don’t know whose fault it is! How can this be?!”
Of course, the truth is the unfortunate carrier has fallen foul of the common cold comfort or Debillisoutrageous, as it is medically known. Typically the patient’s jaw will have ‘dropped’, the mind will have become ‘boggled’ and, in all likelihood, the blood will have boiled. It inevitably occurs after someone has taken wrong advice and left themselves too exposed to the winds of change.
Ah but look it, ’tis nobody’s fault at all. As the legendary shock disaster specialist Dr Varadkar says, ‘These things happen and it’s best to forget it ASAP I’ve forgotten about blaming people for things and it hasn’t done me any harm at all, at all! Not yet anyway.”
This week Dr Simon Harris reflects on his recent narrow escape.
As a doctor I am often asked, ‘Do transplants really work?’ The answer is they certainly worked for me last week. The problem was a huge blockage had developed in my career prospects after I’d ignored the warning signs for too long. My heart was cold, my nerves were jangling and I feared for my backside as the entire system began to buckle under the stress. Everyone said I was a goner, especially Matron McDonald of the Adam’s Academy for the Administration of Good Health (AAAGH).
Fortunately my colleague, Dr Donohoe, recognised the solution and managed to transplant the guts of €45m on to my lap from other bodies. Of course, I had to swallow a bitter pill to make sure it wasn’t rejected. It was a close call, but happily the nurses say my prospects are very good until next week at least. Phew!
This week, Dr Simon Harris examines a contagious condition affecting the nursing profession
As a doctor I am often asked, ‘Why are those nurses outside walking up and down with placards and is there any cure?’
The unfortunate creatures are suffering from what is medically known as awaywiththefairies. It attacks the brain, causing crazy ideas, delusions and a belief that money can cure things.
It is mostly found amongst what we call the ‘working classes’ and may be caused by over-exertion of the sweat glands and poor sleeping patterns – but I find that hard to believe from my intense studies, conducted while waiting for my driver to bring the car round.
The best advice is to wash my hands of it and ensure it doesn’t spread to my career prospects.
This week Dr Old McDonald (SF) ponders an awkward affliction that affects people trying to handle things properly.
As a doctor, I am often asked if there is any cure at all for the condition known as ‘cack-handed’ or notas cleveras gerri as it is clinically known.
What happens is the sufferer fails to grasp the task at hand, is all thumbs and seems totally incapable of getting to grips with things. The longer it goes on, the worse things get. There is a real danger that the victim may even ‘drop the baton’ altogether, resulting in a complete loss of face, followed by verbal diarrhoea and difficulty in swallowing the truth.
Yes I know it’s in my blood, but it’s not my fault I inherited everything! It’s not easy picking up where he left off. There’s all that baggage and… what do you mean you’re leaving? Not another one.
This week renowned stayputologist Dr. Tony O’Brien gets round to discussing the folly of making rash decisions.
As a doctor I am often asked, ‘why the hell don’t you resign now and not drag this out any longer?” The simple answer is, “How dare you?! Your children would be appalled!”
What is presented to the doctor is the condition known medically as outforbloodis, -sometimes also called wanthisheadonaplateria. Classic symptoms include constant knee-jerking, finger stabbing and even frothing at the mouth, along with rising blood pressure.
Tragically, what soon happens is that the good doctor himself becomes a victim of these attacks and is faced with a terrible dilemma. Should he dash for the door in the hope of saving his own skin or sit tight and hope the entire infection spreads to someone else?
If you feel a sudden impulse for blood coming on, please don’t tell anyone else and someone here will get back to you in a few years or so.
This week Dr Leo Vacuous wonders aloud about the dire affliction of shrugging.
As a doctor people often ask me about the awful condition known as “shrugging” and whether it will ever be eradicated.
I haven’t a clue what causes it but what happens is the victim’s shoulders go into regular upward spasm when I…er, when he or she is faced with a difficult challenge, such as large amounts of sick people suddenly having the baffling notion to show up at hospitals across the country.
These spasms are usually accompanied by other ominous responses, including feverish head scratching, massaging of the jaw, eyes glazing over and the mouth remaining open in silence.
It may well be an inherited malaise from some guys who were around before us but I wouldn’t really know. How to cure it? Search me, mate. I find ignorance can be a great escape valve though so pretending it isn’t there might help. I advise putting on jazzy shoes and socks and running down the road away from it early in the morning. Works for me anyway…
With Dr Terry Prone
I AM often asked about the dangers of populism (or acutis referendumis non suspicious at allus, to use the correct medical terminology). Unfortunately, there has been a surge in this condition recently with its life-threatening implications – particularly for those in positions of authority.
Indeed, one of my patients (whom I will refer to simply as “Simon”) was recently infected by a bout of populism while going about his day-to-day activities of promoting himself as the country’s future Taoiseach.
As a result, he has developed a craving for fudge and has been appearing regularly on RTÉ programmes to explain at length how reasonable and fair-minded he is. Otherwise, he has suffered no unpleasant side effects.
If you are worried about Coveney Syndrome, seek professional PR advice at once.
Doctor Rhona writes:
AS THE country’s most famous maternity doctor, I often hear patients say: “Doctor, I’m absolutely exhausted.” Well, my usual response is, “Yes, I know all about it.”
It’s at that point I’m normally asked: “So how on earth do you cope with such a gruelling schedule and still manage to be so exquisitely photogenic on the front of the Indo all the time?”
The simple answer is that I’ve always been able to multi-task very successfully. Of course, as the first woman to fill the enormously demanding position of Master of Holles Street, my waking hours are spent doing the daily rounds.
This includes addressing the huge backlog of urgent appointments with newspaper journalists about the need for more resources and the complex issue of Irish women going abroad for abortions. No wonder there’s hardly any time left for any actual medical work. It’s enough to cause a breakdown (which, in my case, includes my basic six-figure salary, plus allowances and occasional special payments).
Then there’s the hectic scheduling of PR operations, speaking to various political groupings – not to mention Prime Time interviews with Miriam O’Callaghan – now there’s another yummy mummy. She’s also an amazing role model for young girls – even if she doesn’t get the kind of remuneration I receive. But then, who does?
Dr Fintan Tool writes…
As an all-round expert on women’s rights – including fertilisation, sterilisation and the whole mystical childbirth experience, I am often asked to explain the complexities of the new National Maternity Hospital saga.
Of course, to clarify this highly contentious issue in simple terms that can even be understood by ordinary people, it’s essential to recognise the uneven balance of power that has besmirched Irish society for centuries. Various vested interests health ministers have callously rampaged through the maternity needs of generations of marginalised Irish mothers, emulating the worst excesses of the infamous barbarian hordes.
At least we still have one or two erudite liberal-minded, award-winning columnists who continue to speak the everyday language of the people on the street by challenging the toxic corrosion undermining civic democracy that is being perpetuated by infantile government ministers who persist in promoting the so-called charity myth… (Continues like this for another 2,500 words)
This week Dr Alan Shatter delivers a prognosis on why some ailments drag on and on and on and on…
AS A doctor people often say to me, “why does it sometimes take so long for problems to be diagnosed? Of course the answer is very simple – nobody told me about it!
Take the scourge of Guard’s Ear or recordem butdontellem as it was medically known – an ugly affliction that blighted the country and left everyone gasping for air, some years back.
Unbelievably, my lesser qualified colleague Dr Máire saw fit to try handling it all alone instead of availing of my far more qualified abilities.
The result, inevitably, was widespread panic across the county. If only she had come to me. I’d have prescribed a cure and nobody would ever have even heard of the ailment in the first place.
AS an INM spin doctor, I am often asked: “Doctor, there’s something very wrong with my company. Can you save it?”
The short answer is no. This is because all the top executives suffer from a condition known as Swollen Salary Syndrome (or Corporatus Blottus Normalis, to use the proper medical term), which leads to prolonged symptoms of intense greed and sudden outbursts of ill-feeling in the boardroom.
The stress of running a huge number of wealth-creating global companies while simultaneously dealing with the complexities of overseeing life-enhancing offshore tax arrangements can sometimes be extremely dangerous to one’s financial health.
Of course, legal battling and trying to treat an ill radio station with new financial medicine wion’t help.
with Spin Doctor Simon
As a spin doctor, I’m often asked: “Doctor, do you have a hospital bed for me?”
The simple answer is: “No, of course not.” What happens is that the patient is at death’s door and is referred to the nearest public hospital where all the entrances are unfortunately blocked by hundreds of other sick people lying on trolleys.
At this point, an RTÉ film crew interviews the Health Minister who says he is “really sorry” and suddenly experiences panic attacks, hand-wringing, cold sweats and an urge to blame the latest crisis on the high incidence of flu among the elderly, or Charadis Normalis, to give the full medical name.
This condition generally transmits itself neurologically to viewers who immediately become hot under the collar and feel extremely nauseous. Their condition is likely to deteriorate – particularly when they are informed that more hospital wards have been earmarked for closure due to the government’s massive investment in the health service.
This week Dr Lynn Boylan (S.F.M.E.P.) gives the lowdown on the debilitating condition of spinelessness
As a doctor, people often say to me: “Why is there so little backbone in Irish politics and journalism anymore and what can we do to restore it?”
What happens is, the more the unfortunate cowa… er, victim bends over backwards, bows down or even cowers into a ball, as the pressure renders the backbone – or Afraidodenis as we in the medical profession laughingly call it – a useless heap of jelly that offers no resistance and can’t even hold one’s head up.
The sufferer very soon becomes totally spineless and reduced to a quivering, grovelling wretch unable to walk tall and pathetically trying to assert some kind of posture while scrambling from one low crouched stance to the next.
I firmly recommend standing up at all times to improve the balance.
And if that fails, get a job in Independent News and Media.
THIS week young Doctor Simon Whatsisname considers the risks associated with pneumonia, which threatens up to one American political life every four years.
As an important doctor people often ask me: “Doctor, how can I avoid catching pneumonia?” I always say to make sure your workplace is free of leaks, as you never know what kind of a storm might come along and rain down on your head – not to mention any kind of a strange virus infecting your system, including Russian flu.
Of course if one does contract the illness, it is vital to cover up as much as you can to prevent matters getting even worse and perhaps trumping your plans.
If you find yourself knocked off your feet by pneumonia, get your doctor to say you are fine straight away.
This week Dr Michael Noonan, (B.A.L.D.Y.) reflects on the ludicrous side of his work
Being a doctor well known throughout Europe I often get some very silly people seeking my intercession. Last week, for example, a Danish woman, who was obviously unstable and suffering from delusions, said to me: “Doctor, I have just discovered a very large lump of money that I think you should remove if you know what’s good for all of us!”
Naturally I just laughed at the silly woman’s amateur prognosis! Everyone knows that if you ignore these vast lumps they won’t bother anyone, whereas if you draw attention to them you end up with a huge headache and nightmares for years and years.
I find a mix of hair-shirts and dried figs will reduce greatly such swellings, but if you are worried about it come and talk to me. I’m sure we can work something out to get you smiling again.
This week Dr Phil Hogan considers the dangers of jumping too fast
AS A doctor I am always very alert for incidents whereby people get their foot firmly stuck in their mouth, or Dailymailius Teeveethreenium, as it is called in the medical profession.
What happens is the hapless – hahah – victim becomes delusionary, perhaps due to a rush of blood to the head, accompanied by a perception that they are “beside themselves”. Of course, in a bid to dispel their torment they will kick out wildly and throw shapes while neglecting to close their mouths.
The resultant affliction can be very embarrassing and the dislodgment quite painful as it will involve a severe kick up the arse and a transplant of perhaps €200,000 into my account. Cheers.
This week, top pulmonologist Dr. Liam Doran offers advice on not breathing a word
As a very important doctor I am often asked, ‘Should I wrap up much as possible this time of year, doc?’ The answer is Yes – it’s particularly important to keep details of your salary under wraps. Otherwise you run the risk of coughing up too much information and further complications, such as feverish speculation and a lot of sweating over your future – not to mention raising everyone else’s blood pressure. There’s also an associated condition, known medically as bumsrush, that you don’t want to even contemplate – at least I don’t anyway. In addition, keeping the mouth firmly shut is an essential part of the process.
Doctor Vlad writes: As a practising Health Minister, I am often asked: “What are you doing about the 600 people on trolleys in emergency units?”
Well, the short answer is that there is never an easy solution to these kinds of serious medical crises, especially when there is so much pressure on the entire medical system. That is why everyone has to pull together for the common good.
For example, the public may not be fully aware that many of us involved with the country’s Health Service suffer from an acute disorder known as Enlarged Salary Syndrome, also known technically as Maximus Incrementis Normalis. This condition usually leads to extensive holidays in Florida and prolonged bouts of golf and swollen ego.
Finally, the highly unrealistic idea that a tremendously busy minister, such as myself, should have to run hospitals effectively is extremely dangerous and is likely to lead to a massive headache for my career plans.