Monday, May 25, 2009

Yet Another Rant On Government Healthcare.

Since we as a nation are so dead set on turning our healthcare needs, responsibilities, and rights over to the US Government just so we don't have to lick the envelope ourselves, (You don't really think you will get more back from the Government than You put in, do you?) I would ask you before you make the decision to support our Representatives and Senators on this that you go spend a day at the local county hospital emergency room.
I had the opportunity to do this yesterday. My mother had a stroke. She went to the distant County Hospital rather than the nearby University-affiliated private one we normally use because that's what the ambulance was told to do.
As a stroke patient, she got special treatment and moved to the front of the line for service, or at least getting moved into a room. I then spent the next hour filling out 37 papers requiring signature as her power of attorney - Lord only knows what they all were or why. Even looking at my copies after the fact, they don't all make sense. I got in shortly before the nurse came to introduce herself and take her vitals and draw blood. I am certainly glad it wasn't a life threatening condition ... oh, wait, it was. The did take her for a CT Scan shortly afterwards, but then they left her in the room primarily by herself for at least six hours, despite the fact that she was confused and kept trying to get herself out of bed. Finally, after shift change, a doctor came in to check her out. He sent her up to neuroscience to have further testing done and I went home to eat and crash.
This was a new emergency room since I was here last time when my daughter got hurt in Girl Scouts, but you couldn't tell it. No expense was spared in making it look shabby and be uncomfortable. The bench seating has armrests at every seat length to make sure no one lays down. This is a continuation of the practice they used in the old emergency room as I found when I brought my injured daughter in and waited for them to see her.* It is forbidden to bring magazines in and leave them as I found out later when I tried to correct the situation. Germs or some such. It made me pine for the old Reader's Digest in my regular doctor's office.
So check out the local Government run medical facility, check out the Post Office, check out the social security Office and then remember the last time you visited your family doctor. Is that the trade you want to make just so you don't have to write the check yourself?

*This is a story unto itself. I bought my daughter in and triage was busy filling out those 37 forms and not triaging the patients. After being admonished to wait our turn, and being admonished for laying my daughter down on the floor, and being admonished for getting blood on their floor, and waiting an hour; I went up front to the business office an asked "if we just went home, would we still have to pay?"
When I came back, my wife said "What did you do?" I asked "Why?" and she replied "The phone rang and after the call, the staff came out and rounded up all the waiting patients and took them back behind the closed doors".

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