Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Public Versus Private

After spending 8 hours last Friday waiting in Private hospital waiting areas, waiting to get Debra a bed (she had an infected toe), I have noticed some similarities and differences between public and private hospitals.
1. Your very existence is an annoyance to every employee of the hospital.
2. If you need to attend two different departments within the same building, they will be as far apart as possible, requiring maps, directions, a small packed lunch and bread crumbs ala Hansel and Gretel to find your way out again.
3. The bigger the hospital, the better the coffee. I would never upset my Zouki coffee overlords by suggesting Hudson's at Knox Private did better Vanilla Lattes, but they did have a third size cup, as big as you would get at a proper retail outlet. It wasn't the trough of coffee I have always dreamt of, but it was close. And it was very nice. But Zouki coffee is the best of course, and my weekends would be unbearable without it. Yay Zouki.
4. Hospital food is hospital food, regardless of where you are.

1. Magazine quality. In a public hospital waiting area you will find New Idea, Woman's Day, Take 5, That's Life. If you are in a really classy public hospital you may even find a Marie Claire. In a private hospital waiting area there are magazines I had never heard of - Golfing Digest, Architect Monthly, Vogue Living. In a really low class private hospital, you might find Marie Claire. It seems MC swings both ways.
2. Obvious differences in clientèle. It seems if you afford private health insurance, you can afford clean thongs.
3. You might be looked at with the same disdain, but at a private hospital they will see to you a little faster, because there is actual power in your complaints.

So Debra is home now - five days in Ringwood Private. Her toe is better and hopefully it will be a while again before I have to be reminded of the joys of being on the "wrong" side of the healthcare system, public or private.

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