Dr. Jeff’s New Year


Where did 2019 go? In fact, where did the last decade go to? Happy New Year and let’s make it a healthy one.

As a doctor working in A&E, the challenges have been huge, even on my part-time basis. I was expecting to meet Simon Harris at the Mercy A&E last Sunday, but he did not turn up! Pity, because we were actually treating patients in wheelchairs in corridors, as there was nowhere else to see them! Apologies are made, and patients just seem to accept the appalling lack of privacy. I think Hospital Managers are frightened to show TDs how bad things actually get during the flu season, and yes, the rest of the year is not brilliant either.

On a happier note, the nurses are fantastic; I would not pick a fight with some of them, but the job and challenges certainly sort out the best from the rest. Thanks to all the staff at the Mercy, CUH and Bantry hospitals.

I have worked at Bantry, which offers the advantages of a smaller hospital without a full A&E but with an excellent Minor Injuries Unit running from 8am till 7.30pm for injuries that don’t need major operations. If in doubt ring the Unit on 027 52929 who will advise. Your GP can arrange admission there for acute medical problems. I know the three Consultants personally and they run a fantastic service. Junior doctors actually compete to work there, as the training and overall experience is unequalled. 

In GP land in West Cork, South Doc was busy, and in Clonakilty and Bandon your local doctors were available until 11pm over the holiday and managed well. We try our best, offering expert treatment in the Centres and home visits if necessary. This takes a huge amount of pressure off the A&E Units. Thanks to the South Doc teams.

So, how about a few healthy resolutions? West Cork is a fantastic place to live, so why not set yourself a few challenges – try a bit more exercise, admire the sunset on the Long Strand, walk along Inchydoney beach, look at the surfers – give it a go!  

For the more adventurous, try taking up a new hobby. Running, cycling, dancing, swimming, there are so many opportunities in West Cork. Just look what is on offer in this newspaper this coming year and make it a good one. Enjoy yourself! Don’ t dwell on negativity, there is too much of that!

Don’t tell me you are too old either; remember Samuel Beckett’s words “Perhaps my best years are gone. But I would not want them back. Not with the fire that’s in me now!”

I have a lovely patient who is 60 and running her first marathon in Cork this year. Go for it girl. Life is to be lived! More next month.

Dr Jeff Featherstone

Dr Jeff Featherstone is a West Cork GP and A&E doctor at Mercy University Hospital and Cork University Hospital.

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