Saturday, November 10, 2007

I Suspect...

HEALTH is the issue.
Right now in Ireland, it is just about the only issue for many people.
I know about the health service because of my experiences with it and in it.
My experiences with it are good.
In it, not so.
I don’t know who designs hospitals. I suspect it is accountants. And I suspect they are on a bonus for every euro they save.
I suspect they make wards and rooms, waiting areas and doctors’ offices as small as possible.
I suspect they don’t bother including what might be called leisure activity areas for patients, not all of whom are confined to bed all day.
I suspect they say that it is up to the patients to decide what they’ll watch when there are two televisions between four or six.
I suspect they say the radios aren’t great and the earphones won’t last, but what the hell if there are no radios for the patients.

I suspect they say that the showers with the six inch steps up to them and the narrow doors aren’t actually very good, but they’re a great price.
I suspect they say that if they put in a decent kitchen, it will only result in the production of decent food and decent food costs money so let’s not bother.
I suspect they say that centres of excellence will be good for health but even better for budgets as long as we make most outlying patients pay their own way to get to them.
I suspect they say that it’s not their fault if people have to hang around hospitals all day waiting to see consultants so they’re not obliged to provide them with any diversion of any kind.
I suspect they say that if people spend six or eight hours a day visiting sick friends or relatives and then have to fork our twelve or sixteen euro for parking, that’s just efficiency.
I suspect they say that it would be too expensive, even if it is the right thing to do, for nurses and other staff who deal with patients, to be provided with clean and sterilised uniforms on their arrival at work each day.
I suspect they say it would cost too much to sterilise every bed every time a patients leaves hospital.
I suspect they think that medical care is all that counts. I suspect they think they pay doctors and nurses enough and I suspect they don’t really care if porters and cleaners and dinner ladies leave on a regular basis because, I suspect they believe such people don’t require training of any kind.
Mostly, though, I suspect those who make the decisions I suspect are made relating to patient care as opposed to patients medical care, are made by people who don’t use public hospital and who probably think they shouldn’t have to.
I suspect they have contempt for those damned costly patients.
And I suspect nothing will ever change.
Thank God that, at least in the short term, I’m at home watching my fourth rugby match in two days.
Couldn’t do that in hospital.
Reckon they suspect providing satellite television, even at a small charge, would just be too much damned trouble.

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