Is she taking the piss?
"MARY Harney yesterday said she "dearly wanted" to return to the Department of Health if the Government parties win the election.
She strongly denied she had been a failure as health minister and claimed her success in improving A&E waiting times was proof of progress. However, she did admit that there were still problems.
Ms Harney spoke after Bertie Ahern came under fire from Fine Gael and Labour over the Taoiseach's statement that health was just a "peripheral" issue in the election campaign.
Ms Harney said there had been recent 40-60pc improvements at A&Es, acknowledged by the Irish Nurses Organisation, and she wanted to reduce other waiting times.
These include the target of a 12-hour wait for hospital admission (set 18 months ago) to no-one having to wait more than six hours to get a bed.
Ms Harney claimed the sight of the sick having to wait overnight for admission had virtually disappeared. There were continuing difficulties "but there have been fantastic improvements in a relatively short period of time".
She added: "There are problems, particularly in the cities, but the out-of-hours service we are establishing will have a much greater impact on A&Es in the future. Ninety-five per cent of those who use A&E do not experience a night on a trolley. The experience of 90pc is good, with 93pc in surveys saying they would go back to the same hospital or recommend it to someone else."
The minister again warned that she was going ahead with the recruitment of 1,500 extra consultants.
On the industrial action begun by hospital consultants yesterday, she said she felt it would be difficult for the public to understand, particularly since the consultants themselves had sought extra appointments in speciality areas.
On her chosen portfolio, she said: "In September 2004, I asked for the job in Health, because I passionately believe we can change health for the better for patients and that all people should be treated on the basis of medical need in our public hospitals.
"There are big challenges in this job. And I consider it a privilege to have the chance to meet those challenges for better health-care for patients. I would be honoured with the chance to finish the job."
The HSE is a shambolic nightmare, patients are being mis-diagnosed, or disreagarded all together because it's the weekened, the nurses are on strike and I for one wouldn't like to be stting in an A&E anywhere in this god forsaken country, if you do need medical help beyond the norm you've got to pay through the nose and go private -like I did when I needed a mole removed- or else wait for up to a year in some cases to be looked at...Oh yes Mary, I'll bet you would be honoured with the chance to finish the job, but frankly I rather hand the position over to six toed tree sloth at this stage.