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Upsize the care, then downsize the attitude


(this article was totes published in SMH)

Hospitals make me sick. Not literally, but the general morbid dreariness, mixed with the overall lack of competency, makes me want to gag and hurl.

Granted, at 25, I’ve spent little time in that pedestrian asylum, but after some obligatory visits (read relatives) I’m starting to think our health services are less institution, more McDonald’s drive-through.

You pull up, wait about, enduring miscellaneous traffic, with the hopes of being served with some tenderness and attention, only either to wait without attendance or be ushered through the consulting window, straight on to pill collection, and hustled promptly out the door. Consider yourself lucky if they actually get your order correct.

I know it’s a tired discourse (who doesn’t hate hospitals?) but when you see your own father in pain, resting in a ward completely inappropriate to his illness after being rushed to emergency, then being greeted by a nurse who seems to know nothing, except perhaps how to tie his own shoelaces, you’d be tired, too. Tired of not getting any answers, tired of never seeing an actual doctor, tired of the smells, the sounds, the awkward conversations between the sick.

If our health care system’s intention is to the make the environment so blood-chillingly sombre that patients either pass on or pass away, then they’re doing a good job. And I’m sure they’re keeping down their in-house numbers, too.

Funds are inadequate, sure, and we could blame a whole bunch of it on the government, like we do with everything else, but what will that actually do? I’m much more interested in the disposition of staff members and better internal management in assessing patients and organising them accordingly.

A smile here or there could really lighten the mood once in a while, particularly for those who are preparing for something light and breezy such as heart surgery or a spinal realignment. It’s true – a happy face can really change someone’s day.

Then again, you could just spend the rest of your lives in the same field, with the same discontent written all over your sour, sucky mugs. Then, maybe, we will just go to Maccas for all our woes. At least they tell you to ”have a nice day”.

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