And Another Thing … Australian Bee for Taoiseach?

[First published by The Clare People, February 12, 2019]

So, our beloved Taoiseach has been told he has the metabolic age of 53, over a decade above his actual age.
Maybe by the time he actually reaches that age, the National Children’s Hospital will be open.
We need to hope that the government’s investment in the tech sector continues, as who will staff this long-delayed expensive project and our public health service in general?
Maybe the massive bill for the new national children’s hospital, which is due to open its doors in 2022 at a cost of at least €1.7 billion, has been altered to include robot nurses and midwives.
Metabolically speaking, Leo Varadkar may need to avail of our lovely health system in the coming years, but with the current rate of migration amongst our frontline health service staff, an investment in alternative staffing solutions may be a resolution.
The cost of the controversial hospital now stands over €700 million higher than the figure of €983 million approved by the government in 2017.
Who knows what the cost will actually be by the time it eventually opens?
Recent reports suggest that the total cost of the project is “highly unlikely” to come in under the €2 billion mark.
The Department of Public Expenditure has claimed that an across-the-board 12 per cent pay rise for nurses would cost about €300 million, but surely an investment in robotic health service staff is a better long-term solution?
After all, robots won’t take to the picket line and demand decent working conditions to go along with decent pay and a standard of living.
At least when the thousands of health service staff leave for the shores of Australia, we can set up an exchange programme with the highly intelligent bee population Down Under.
A recent study from researchers in Australia has found that bee brains are able to carry out basic maths.
The findings showed that honeybees can understand the concept of zero and now Australian and French researchers plan to test whether bees could perform arithmetic operations like addition and subtraction.
And when the cost of the national children’s hospital rises again and as the taxpayer continues to get stung, then it might be time to vote in the Australian bees to government…at least then, basic maths won’t be an issue.

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