In an almost perverse case of happenstance I saw Michael Moore’s Sicko on the same day as an unforgivable thing happened in one of Sydney’s public hospitals. I walked out of the cinema thinking: “Thank God the health care system here isn’t as bad as in America” and then I turned on the news.
Jana Horska, 14 weeks pregnant, arrived at Royal North Shore Hospital shortly after 7PM yesterday. She was experiencing acute abdominal pain yet after waiting for 2 hours had still not received any medical assistance. She went to the toilet where she began to feel really ill. Crying out in pain, she miscarried. Her husband dashed into the cubicle and saw her holding a live foetus between her legs. The floor was covered in blood. After this horrible incident she still had to wait all over again to be attended to. How is this woman ever going to recover from such horror? How could such a terrible thing have happened? There is no excuse for it.
Thank God I have never had to attend RNS because I have heard some stories that made me think I had been transported back to medieval times. A colleague of mine had a baby by C-section there last year, got golden staph in the wound and ended up in intensive care. Another friend waited for 4 hours in emergency while trying to console a 6 year old with a broken leg. There are other incidents too numerous to mention which should not be happening in a city which is (presumably) not in the third world.
At the very least we need a thorough investigation into Royal North Shore’s emergency department. However, what we really need is a complete overhaul of our health care system. We will probably need our own Michael Moore to do it because our politicians are too busy slinging mud at one another in preparation for the upcoming election, to care. For now – Jana Horska – I am so sorry this has happened to you. I pray you will recover from the trauma of it. My family and I are thinking of you.