I recently attended a Manx Care board meeting to hear about challenges facing our health system.

I’ve been sceptical about this government’s corporatisation of our health service.

I think it’s really important that we have democratic control to ensure that our health care is local, high quality and universally accessible.

At the board meeting, Manx Care said they’re launching a new advisory service for patients and other stakeholders.

This should help to resolve concerns efficiently. And that sounds good!

More concerning is that many staff have been directly affected by COVID and have had to isolate.

Staff absence is a big problem when facing unusually high levels of demand for medical services.

In fact, they described it as facing winter levels of demand, but in summer.

During the COVID pandemic, people still need other medical treatment.

Another really valuable part of the meeting was frontline staff sharing an anonymous patient story.

The case was a single mother in her mid-40s, with a neurological condition getting worse over time.

The staff reported that over 18 months ago, the Department of Infrastructure, the DOI, were asked to install a ramp at her home.

Without the ramp, she can only leave her home if she’s evacuated by emergency services.

That’s awful! She’s been waiting 18 months for a ramp.

In the meeting, board members referred to this as a historic lack of joined-up thinking and said the agreement with the DOI isn’t working.

This woman deserves better. She shouldn’t have to wait 18 months to leave her home.

The patient shouldn’t have to worry about whether it is Manx Care, or the DOI’s fault.

So let me tell you this, if elected, I’m going to put a rocket up the leadership of the DOI because this is unacceptable.

It must be fixed.

The board meeting discussed that this isn’t good enough for the patient.

And it is also frustrating for staff.

These frontline staff cared deeply and it was wonderful to see their obvious care for their patients.

Those staff on the frontline don’t just have great minds for delivering health services.

They also have great hearts for delivering health care. It was uplifting.

So with the introduction of Manx Care, there’s hope for the future.

But boy, there’s a lot of work to be done. Let’s get started, for all of us.

Michael Josem is a long-term consumer advocate, most prominently as a global leader in combating fraud in the online gambling industry. He was in part the inspiration for the 20th Century Fox Movie, Runner Runner, starring Ben Affleck and Justin Timberlake.

Josem has over a decade of experience as a senior business leader working across various high-tech and online industries, and takes action to build a better community. His primary volunteer roles include service for the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, and Graih, the homelessness charity.