Local Issues

Chronicles of an Impatient Patient

So I was at the fracture clinic with a friend of mine. We made the apparently poor decision to get there early so this friend of mine can get his clinic on and get to work before they dock another day’s pay from him.

Now, I dunno if you guys have ever been in Mt. Hope General Hospital…it’s not the greatest medical institution in the world. In fact, I think it would possibly be one of the worst. The facilities and equipment, and even the look and feel of the place makes you feel even sicker than you entered. Now, I’ve been here before eh, so I could handle a lil bathroom sink that not working, and entire rooms without garbage bins. I just shook my head at all the toilets on the ground floor having no toilet paper. But what I can’t handle is stupidity and heartlessness…

So we get our number, see a lady at the information desk, head over to the fracture clinic. We notice that no one’s there, but we know the clinic officially opens at 8 AM, so we just sit and wait. Then some negro lady walks in…

“Whoa…look how many people here that not supposed to be here! Who send you people here?!”

…Um, what?

“Nonononono, you cannot be here until the clinic opens at 8. The policy is that people cannot be here until the clinic is open…”

I cannot, for the life of me, imagine why the information desk would be open before the rest of the entire hospital, but we didn’t make a scene. There’s another man, significantly older than us, with a fractured hip, who clearly can’t stand very long. He asks to sit, and the lady (surprisingly) obliges…only for a security guard to make a scene about it later.

Yep, a female guard, known not-so-affectionately by staff as ‘Concrete’, comes into the lobby with her heart of stone to tell the man that he’s not allowed to sit down. He asks why, much like I was doing in my mind at the time. She says that’s the hospital policy.

'Concrete' and 'Broko-Hip' converse about the evils of sitting on a chair.
‘Concrete’ and ‘Broko-Hip’ converse about the evils of sitting on a chair.

When we finally get to sit in the lobby, it would seem that the staff we came here to meet are more lost than we were. They’re sending patients to the wrong rooms to meet their doctors, or don’t know where to go at all. And one old man is told that the form that he got from his specialist (apparently from this hospital) is not acceptable…because it is a photocopy.

I am never really certain what that truly means, and clearly neither was this man. After a half-hour of talking to three different nurses, he finally gives up the entire ordeal, after wasting an entire morning.

Oh yeah, we ended up sitting there until 1. Because apparently it’s hospital policy to give everyone an 8 o’clock appointment and let the chips fall where they may. There were only 6 people on the list for appointments that day, but the lobby is full to the brim with possibly 35 folks, almost all of which getting in before my friend does.

When he finally does, listen to what the nurse tells him;

“Hmmm…this cast not coming off for a while again. You’ll need sick leave…how much yuh want?”

So it’s not so much a matter of when the cast’s coming off, but of how much days I’d prefer to miss work? I wonder if that says anything about your own work ethic…

My friend gets to leave with some prescription pain killers and more sick leave days than actual working days he has left. And I’m left with more questions than answers…

Our healthcare system, clearly, is not focused a great deal on compassionate patient care, or better protocols to make patients’ lives easier. What they are concerned about is no stress and plenty sick leave.

I think if I ever have to go to a public hospital, I’ll just let folks kill me instead…



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