Saturday, September 22, 2007

Demanding Health Care!

I might already have mentioned that I was the victim of 'flu last weekend. I have to admit that my energy reserves are still somewhat depleted and so are those of Biggest Boy, aged 13. He was sent home from school on Friday and went back yesterday, which was obviously a mistake as he is now suffering belly-ache requiring a visit to the GP.

Over here, ie Ireland; it costs €45.00 to visit the GP & €60.00 to visit A&E. Consequently we are a fit and healthy lot; my family, as frankly we have better things to spend our money on. Of course, we eschew the idea of medical insurance - it costs too much and I don't believe in it.

Having trained as a nurse in the NHS; too long ago, I am firmly of the opinion that Health care should be equal for all; if not free. Private Hospitals are built for use by private patients, either with or without health insurance. Public Hospitals are built for use by public patients, either with or without health insurance.

If you consider that most of us pay our PRSI/National Insurance; to facilitate the provision of the public health care system; we should all be entitled to equal attention whilst under it's wing.

It's okay to have health insurance; some, actually many consider it to be essential in this country. My argument is that patients who can afford to choose to pay for Private Health Care should be treated in Private Hospitals as Private Patients or as Public Patients in Public Hospitals and NOT as Private Patients in Public Hospitals.

My only reason for forming this opinion is that Public Patients suffer at the hands of Consultants who treat Private Patients in Public Hospitals; while the Public waiting lists continue to grow longer & longer! This might sound a little biased, it is.

I have experience of this from both the public forum and the health sector forum. It does not impress me when expected to treat Private Patients like royalty; in deference to their status.

All patients; private or public should be treated like royalty, or at the very least like human beings; with compassion and courtesy. Often the kindest person present in the health care sector is the little old lady coming in to have surgery at the age of 100!

Little patience is shown for patients; they are expected to fit in with our routines, which are largely for the convenience of the staff. Patients are often neglected for the want of a quick chat about the weather and how awful the food is.

In my day, albeit I was one of the lucky ones, the patient was king. Care of the patient was actually patient centred and the patient was involved in his own care. The beds were cleaned from top to bottom and the locker alike, MRSA was barely heard. When I moved, in 1988, to a prominent hospital in West Yorkshire the staff were lucky enough to have never heard of MRSA. Nowadays it is a phrase which is on everybody's lips.

Much has changed over the time since I left school, not all of it for the worse. My GP practice has seen many changes, but thankfully my doctor remains the same as ever.

He gently told me not to worry about the biggest boys relentless stomach ache and advised me to dose him up with laxatives!

Now then, you can breathe easy again, that's my rant for today done with...

Polly Px
ps. when evetually I get around to making some more cards, perhaps I should focus on 'Get Well Soon'Cards !

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