Friday, April 12, 2013

A safe public health system?

On Friday last week, I took an ambulance ride to hospital with a suspected MI. When I got to the emergency dept, every single bed was occupied, so it was obviously a busy day for them. Also obvious was the fact that there were insufficient staff on hand to deal with that many patients. This is a system that is very clearly overstretched.....dangerously so in fact. After I'd been there for a short time, I suffered another episode of severe chest pain, followed by my blood pressure dropping through the floor and my pulse dropping from 70+ to ~30bpm. Fortunately, my partner Michelle and a friend of hers who works at the hospital just happened to be there at the time. Her friend managed to attract the attention of someone to come and render assistance before I passed out. Good thing I wasn't there alone!
Now, despite the obvious pressure that these people are working under, they all did an absolutely fantastic job. Everyone, from the paramedics who collected me and took me to hospital, to the doctors and staff who looked after me until I was transferred to the private hospital (which is a story for another time), did an absolutely wonderful job.
But honestly, anyone who thinks that the public health system can suffer funding cuts and forced redundancies and *still* continue to offer the level of service necessary to save peoples' lives is seriously deluded. The people making these decisions need to spend a few hours in emergency, shitting themselves that whatever happened to land them there will happen again, and there won't be anyone there to help when it does. Maybe then they'd see just how thinly spread this service has become!

Labels: ,


Anonymous Sterling said...

There's also a problem with public understanding that the emergency room is for emergencies like yours, and not for sore throats. I think a lot of people take advantage of it, or otherwise don't get it.

4/12/2013 4:15 pm  

Post a Comment

<< Home