Health Care in NSW Australia

January 24, 2010 at 10:55 am | Posted in Writing and Life | 3 Comments
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My husband and I have spent the last few days involved with health care professionals. They have been a general practitioner, the nursing staff in the Emergency and Coronary Care Units of our nearest city hospital, as well as specialist cardiologists there. There could have been up to forty people who diagnosed, treated, operated on or cared for my husband after his heart attack and subsequent angioplasty.

0f all these people, there were none who seemed to have anything but the highest regard for their calling. There were some who were a little taciturn and others who were beset by their own cares, but all, carried out their jobs efficiently and effectively. Most of them even gave that extra touch that makes the patient feel they are not just another ‘case’, but an individual.

One doctor in Emergency was exceptional. She was caring in her manner, yet methodical and clear in her questions, in gaining as complete an understanding of my husband’s symptoms and situation as possible. She was just as clear in repeating the information back to us to make sure she had it right. She ordered appropriate tests to gain clinical knowledge of his condition. Her liaison with a coronary care practitioner ensured that she, though not a specialist in cardiology herself, received correct advice on what course to take so as to come up with the best diagnosis and care.

The system worked effectively as well. My husband was admitted to the Coronary Care Unit, and an angiogram was scheduled for the following morning. During this procedure, an arterial blockage was detected, an angioplasty was done, and he now has a stent in place to carry the blood through that artery. During the procedure and after it, he was cared for by nursing staff, who work long shifts, especially at night. Even the hospital food was good.

I have had my own experiences with hospitals, in surgical, obstetric, general and oncology wards. Many negative things are said about our hospitals and our health system in general. Some of them are true. They are under-staffed and under-funded; they can be hotbeds of political intrigue; sometimes, mistakes occur; sometimes these are covered up.

I do not believe, however, that the general body of medical, nursing and support staff in hospitals should be condemned for not being perfect. Health care may be a ‘political football’ at governmental and higher administrative levels, but the workers themselves simply do the best the can with the resources they have, efficiently, effectively, and with a real care for the patients. My husband and I thank them for that.

© Linda Visman 2010

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