[ExI] simple solution to health care

Emlyn emlynoregan at gmail.com
Thu Jun 25 04:34:59 UTC 2009

2009/6/25 spike <spike66 at att.net>:
> Just don't get hurt:
> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W-YmjRhbn2I&feature=player_embedded
> I have been quietly following the health care debate here.  I confess I have
> mixed feelings about it, for if the government does manage to give us all
> free health care, it is goodbye cruel working world for me, hello whatever I
> want to do.  One thing I haven't seen mentioned in the whole debate is the
> notion that any major structural change in the way the US does it's health
> system will have enormous unintended consequences, some of which may be very
> unpleasant, even if foreseen by some.
> spike

Wow, is healthcare really the only reason you need to work for moola?

On a slightly related note, I had a run-in with the medical system
here (in Oz) on the weekend. My wife had a kidney stone (sudden onset
of crazy abdominal pain, rush to the hospital time). We are public
patients, ie: no private cover. We headed to the Royal Adelaide
Hospital, emergency department, late on a Saturday night.

Jodie was in there until late afternoon the following day. She had
scans scheduled around 1am Sunday, which finally actually happened
around 5pm Sunday. So lots and lots of waiting. As it happens that was
fine, as she needed serious pain medication, and the professional care
that goes with that; she spent most of that time heavily sedated and

When the scans were done, some time later a doctor came and told us
yes, kidney stone, little one, you're past the worst of it now so you
can go home. He gave us a handful of boxes of drugs ranging from mild
stuff to serious shit. We went home, and it's all been cool since,
some mild pain relief the next couple of days and now she's ok.

The experience in the emergency department is interesting; it's a real
feeling of having been consumed by a slow but inexorably moving
machine. You have no real power in there, you just hope the mechanism
is working correctly, and you wont be mangled in the gears. That's
institution I guess. Nurses come and go, doctors come and go, with
gaps between them measured in multiples of half hours. You never
really get to know anyone's name, or know what's going on, or get the
sense that anyone else knows what's going on; each staff member seems
to have a very narrow responsibility to fill, and no overview. Yet,
they all seem competent, which alleviates the anxiety somewhat.

There's not much sense of care, and you spend a lot of time alone.
People say it's because resources are stretched due to underfunding,
but I must contrast that with the sense that there were always large
clumps of nurses nearby doing clerical work or talking about their
weekends or doing lots of anything except tending to patients. Is that

On the other hand, the whole experience went very well, and cost us
$0.00. And, we have a pile of interesting drugs in the cupboard; no
idea what we'll do with those :-)


http://emlyntech.wordpress.com - coding related
http://point7.wordpress.com - ranting
http://emlynoregan.com - main site

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