Sunday, 24th September 2017
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With Breda Gardner Homeopath, lcph, mcos, rgn

Health Therapies Clinic

13 Gladstone Street, Waterford.

Tel: 087 2025753.

Insight Natural Health Clinic

15 Upper Patrick St, Kilkenny

Tel: 056 7724429

The Minister for ill-health!

When it comes to our health, every single one of us has a personal responsibility to look after ourselves. If we smoke, we run the risk of developing lung cancer. If we eat too much and exercise too little, we increase our chances of coronary disease. If we don’t eat healthily – too much sugar, too many processed foods, too little fruit and veg in our diets – all sorts of health complications may arise. If we drink too much alcohol on a regular basis, liver disease will surely follow. And if we don’t drink enough water, our bodies are unable to function properly and efficiently.

All of the aforementioned things are common sense, and it is incumbent on each of us to do our best to live as healthily as we can. It really is quite simple: live healthily and you have a better chance of living longer!

Alongside this personal responsibility, central government also has a critical role to play in helping to ensure the good health of its citizens. Good policies can and do have an incredible impact on the well-being of the population. Such positive, enlightened policies include cancer screening programs, healthy eating campaigns, taxes on cigarettes and alcohol, the ban on smoking in public places, and supporting medical research. That is an impressive list, but I still feel that in Ireland our government is failing us when it comes to truly and comprehensively supporting our health. I believe that there should be an immediate ban on alcohol sponsorship in sport, for example. Also, far too little is being done to address the alarming levels of obesity in our society. And, of course, closer to home, the lack of 24/7 cardiac care in the South East is nothing short of a national scandal.

Along with hundreds of other locals last week, I joined the protest in the Dáil to try and force the government to change its mind. With one or two noble exceptions, I have to say that I thought the reaction – or rather non-reaction – of the majority of our elected politicians was an absolute disgrace. Their empty gestures, inaction and silence contrasted sharply with the courage, grace, dignity and eloquence of Catherine Power, sister of the late Thomas Power, the latest poor soul to die because of the lack of proper cardiac services in the South East.

As long as there are wonderful people around like Catherine – along with the other fantastic campaigners who have done such great work to keep this issue in the headlines – there is hope.

Imagine what could be achieved if we had a Catherine as Minister for Health. I would favour her over any of our current crop of TD’s! Here’s hoping that the current holder of that post finally sees sense and does what’s right. Otherwise I fear he will be remembered as the Minister for Ill-Health!

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