Saturday, October 13, 2007

Paddy Murray Is (not that) Unwell (he hopes) II

Sometimes, it makes a great deal of sense to put together in the one place people who are doing the same thing or who have a great deal in common.
It makes perfect sense, for example, for Catholics like myself who want to go to Mass to gather in the church together at Mass time.
It makes sense for followers of Manchester United or Leinster Rugby, like myself, who wish to attend matches to go to Old Trafford or, nowadays, the RDS, to watch the teams.
It makes a kind of sense for drinkers to gather in pubs, shoppers to go to shops and concert goers to go to concerts. It seems unlikely that Bruce Springsteen or the Kaiser Chiefs or Arcade Fire will put on individual performances.
And it just wouldn’t be acceptable, on any level, to start burying dead people willy-nilly, here and there.

It makes no sense at all, or very little, however, to gather sick people together in one spot.
I imagine whoever came up with the idea of hospitals in the first place, was a government administrator who reckoned, correctly as it happens, that it would make economic sense to put all the sick people in one place so that a smallish team of doctors and nurses and ancillary workers could see to their needs.
The idea of hospitals could not have come from anyone with the slightest medical qualification.
Think about it.
You’re sick. You need treatment. You need to be kept in an area that is as sterile as possible.
So what do they do?
They put you into a big building full of people who also need to be kept in an area that is as sterile as possible.
And then they let in cleaners and cooks and painters and hundreds of doctors and nurses and nurses’ assistants and, of course, thousands and thousands of visitors.
Little Jimmy with his snotty nose.
Lucy, who doesn’t know -yet - that she has measles.
Tommy who is just begining to feel a bit dodgy with humps.
Uncle Fred with the cold.
Great Aunt Maude who thinks she has a cold, but it’s actually the start of ‘flu.
And all the others with as yet undiagnosed illnesses.
They pile in one after one, behind the cleaner with the smokers’ cough and the lady who delivers dinner but who nobody knows never washes her hands after going to the loo.
The ideal way of dealing with sick people, is for each of them, every individual, to be put into his or her sterile pod where a dedicated doctor and nurse could attend to them and where anyone else who had to enter the pod, to deliver food, to visit - cleaners would barely be necessary - could be fully sterilised before entering.
For a start, in a kind of ‘Hey Presto!’ way, hospital superbugs wouldn’t exist because hospitals wouldn’t exist.
Naturally, these pods could be placed either close to a patient’s home or centrally, depending on the illness and so on.
They could be portable so that, sometimes, they could be parked in your garden.
They could be wheeled down to the pub! Well, doesn’t cheering people up do their health a power of good?
And the expertise would of course have to be largely centralised.
If you had sufficient doctors and nurses, this wouldn’t be a problem.
I am aware that, by now, you think I am indeed very unwell.
You think I am off my trolley, hospital or otherwise.
You are wondering what strange drug I am receiving here in hospital.
Because the idea as outlined above, would cost billions and billions and billions.
You’re right.
At least, you’re right about the cost, not about me being off my trolley.
Isn’t it odd how people might cringe when they hear that some medical scheme or other, some special school for autistic children, some plan to house the homeless or help to get addicts off drugs, may cost billions.
But nobody seems to bat much of an eyelid at the United States spending, what is it now, 80 billion dollars a year on their Iraqi adventure.
Nobody seems to be worried about our own public representatives costing vastly more than they are worth, what with their highly inflated salaries, ridiculous and largely dishonest expenses, free parking, free telephones, free post, free offices, subsidised restaurant, gym and God knows what else.
If money was spent sensibly, if business wasn’t given such influence, if public representatives represented the public, all sorts could be done.
We could have sterile pods for the sick.
And we could look after autistic children and others with learning difficulties.
We could look after the old and the young.
We could eliminate world hunger.
And we could eliminate the need for war.
We could be decent, kind generous Christian,Muslim, Jewish, Hindu, Buddhist people. Whatever.
Crazy?
Yes, I suppose. Totally.
Must check what drugs they’re giving me again.

1 comment:

Brendan Martin said...

So you're in hospital and you're unwell, I'm sorry to hear that. I guess you're sorry to say that. Still it's a long road that has no turning. Get well soon and bugger off home. You're taking up a hospital bed that would be better occupied by a genuine malinger.