This Hospital Trolley Penned An Open Letter To Leo Varadkar


AS PART OF our WWN Voices series we give a platform to those we really shouldn’t, this time it is the turn of a hospital trolley in Tallaght’s A&E department, who is responding to Dr Taoiseach Leo Varadkar’s recent piece in the Irish Times which followed on from his comments about restricting extended leave for doctors and nurses during the Christmas period.

“I remember you when you darted through the corridors as a doctor back in the day. Of course, my wheels didn’t squeak the way they do now, but the slow march of time grinds us all down I suppose. You wouldn’t recognise me today, I’m scratched, there’s bits of duct tape on me and that firm, lean shape to my mattress is long gone. Sunken down, with an indentation in the shape of all those people who spent a day or two months on me. But you; you look great, fair play. The gym is doing wonders for you.

The doctor and nurses were talking about that piece you had in the Irish Times there the other day, they were sketchy on the details ‘cus none of them actually have time to read it, and I’d read myself, but I’m an inanimate trolley but the gist of it, or so they’re saying, is that you’re a massive prick who is grossly out of touch and who only talks to service his ego.

One of them said something about ‘he’s only spouting this empty, meaningless PR speak because he’s trying to undermine the whole idea of a public health service, he’d love to sell it off and privatise it if he got the chance, just wants it out in the public domain that he reckons we’re the ones at fault, not the government’.

Well, it was something like that anyway, I couldn’t make it all out, sure weren’t my wheels screeching away as some 80-year-old was chucked onto me to spend their last few days on this planet, after a lifetime of paying tax, in a crowded corridor.

But like you said, you know how to fix it ‘cus you were a doctor once. I mean, you didn’t speak up with solutions when you were the actual minister for fucking health, but I’d think it’s a bit harsh – people expecting you to have provided actual solutions when you always go on about having the solutions but never ever make them public.

It’s like with me – I’m just a trolley, but people expect me to be a bed. They’re all like ‘here, pretend you’re a bed’ and ‘pretend this corridor, overcrowded with sick people is a proper hospital room, properly resourced with staff that have the adequate supports and time off’.

It’s asking way too much of me a humble and creaking trolley. Just like it’s asking way too much of a doctor, turned minister of health, turned leader of the country, to like, actually sound as if he has the first clue about the health service. They expect too much of us Leo, they expect too much. I’m just glad you get that month off from the Dáil in December, what I wouldn’t give for a day off.”