Ghost of Health Service Future:Sensible Policy For A Deadlier Ireland, by Kevin Higgins

Back when we were a small country with only 

the occasional old five pound note 

invested under our long suffering mattresses,

in the golden age of scurvy, typhus, plague 

there was always something fatal

to take the frail off our hands

at hardly any expense to anyone, 

bar the price of digging the grave.
Now, some scientist comes flapping daily

from the laboratory to declare another bastard 

disease sadly no longer incurable. 

The long term cost of all this 

getting better will be our ruin. 
The future we offer you will be short 

and affordable. 
For starters, every cup of tea will be tested

to ensure it contains appropriate levels

of the deadlier strains of E-Coli. 

Those suffering from cardiac

arrhythmia or elevated blood pressure

will be taken off all expensive medication,

and shouted at three hours a day

by unemployable sociopaths,

so happy at the hint of a job,

they’ll work for nothing. 
From his or her fortieth birthday onwards

asthmatics, and those with chronic

bronchitis, sarcoidosis, and cystic fibrosis

will receive no treatment at all,

unless they agree to immediately 

take up smoking.
Those with Crohn’s disease, IBS,

or colitis will be force fed three loaves

of slightly stale bread

until they stop complaining.
Everyone availing of our public health system

will be subject to random spot checks

on their way to work, to make sure 

they’ve gobbled their daily ration

of fat only yoghurt.
Schoolteachers will be empowered

to wire children judged too thin

up to the school sugar pump,

until they have expanded sufficiently.
Those who, despite all this, 

insist on turning seventy five

will be tickled to death with feather dusters, 

they will be expected to supply themselves;

their laughing corpses dumped

in the nearest river to further

infect the water supply.
Over the next five years,

we will replace the costly chaos

of our hospital system with the eternal calm

of the graveyard.
KEVIN HIGGINS is The Bogmans Cannon satirist-in-residence.