Thursday, February 07, 2008

All People Are Sick, But Some Are Sicker Than Others

If you're sick in Drogheda, you have to be really sick. Severely ill. At death's door. Or you'll be asked to give up your space to someone who's sicker than you.

There aren't enough beds at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, but then again, there aren't enough beds in other hospitals as well. Patients have to go somewhere, so if there's no bed, they'll be assigned to a trolley in the hall. And when the trolleys run out, it's time for the nurses to go into triage mode. If you're prone on a gurney and you could sit up without collapsing, you'll be given a seat in the emergency room so that someone who needs to lie down can have a flat surface off the floor.

All it took yesterday was a traffic accident and four injured motorists brought to Our Lady, and four people who were admitted to hospital had to get up so that the accident victims could take their place. You have to marvel at the ability of the nurses and doctors to handle the work load, with the hospital taking in more people than it can reasonably accomodate.

National health care -- is it any wonder that those who can afford private insurance and private hospitals and private doctors avoid the national system at all costs?

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