Tuesday, August 25, 2015

A hospital visit

The new and recently opened public Box Hill Hospital is wonderful and what you would expect in a private hospital even thought it is public. Staff feedback has been very good too. Instead of equipment lined up against walls, much of it fits into dedicated alcoves along the walls. Most rooms seem to have a single bed but there are some rooms with two beds. Some rooms have a built in daybed doubling as a couch, I guess for people to stay with whoever is sick.

While our public health system, paid for from our taxes, is left wanting at times, when it works well, it really is very good and must be protected from conservative politicians who would so like to kill it.

The bureaucracy has transferred from the old hospital though, with three attempts to change an appointment and then being told there was no record of it and finally to not to bother turning up until the subsequent scheduled appointment.

A couple of times we lunched at Box Hill shopping centre after leaving or catching the train. The number of Asian people in the shopping centre is extraordinary. It was very much spot the white person. They are mainly comfortably off Chinese who have brought up property in the area left, right and centre and driven prices sky high. It is all very civilised and I expect the Chinese residents will want what attracted them to the area to be maintained. Box Hill will not be an Asian ghetto, but just a place where a lot of ethnic Asian people live. I did rather wonder what the few old white people who I saw there thought of the change to Box Hill. The old folk white Australians went about their business, just as the old folk Asian Australians went about theirs, without issues.

Rather nice views from the public areas on the higher levels of the hospital. The new tax office building dominates the skyline, as can be seen from The Highrise, but it won't for long as there will an explosion of high rise development.




26 comments:

  1. It is rather unbelievable to me that the Americans do not want a system like this.. I mean seriously, can any Australian, Canadian or Brit imagine getting diagnosed with cancer and then being asked to come up with a couple of hundred grand to pay for the treatment?

    I guess they are used to the way things are and don't know there is a better way.. :/

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    1. Snoskred, a big issue there seems to be that medical opinion decides our fate, taking into account our age, our health, the prognosis and yes, in part, the cost of treatment as against the predicted outcome. The US health propaganda machine has terrified old people into believing their lives must be saved by the full treatment that can be had at all costs, no matter the outcome.

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    2. Andrew, you are absolutely spot on. When my father was diagnosed with cancer in 2008, my brother and I told him that - whatever he decided - we would see that his wishes were fulfilled.
      He decided against chemo, etc... We kept our word by supporting and enforcing his decision. (We held power of medical attorney as well as the more standard form of power of attorney.)

      The oncologists demanded that we overrule his clearly stated decision, and threatened to bring charges against us for 'medical neglect'. I stayed with Dad 24/7 until his death, to prevent them from transporting Dad to hospital and beginning treatments - against his written and stated preference.

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  2. I would never ever go to a private hospital because a] they drain precious health resources from the public system, presumably on behalf of the rich. And b] I am not sure the standard of care is as good in a private system since they are not part of a university training, supervising and teaching system. Who are private hospitals accountable to, medically speaking?

    Having said that, my dad chose to go to a particular private hospital over the last decades and died there 3 weeks ago.I was outraged at the medical ethics displayed at that private hospital towards my late father, but what can I do???

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    1. Hels, I learnt a lesson at Masada where even though I had top private health cover, I was out of pocket by many many dollars. I can't complain about the treatment though. It was very good, but as my treatment in public hospitals has been. Premier Andrews says the Medicare Levy should be raised and if that gets us a better public hospital system, I am happy with the increase. My grandmother died in Cabrini in the 70s when it was still quite a religious institution and she was treated quite badly. In contrast, our late friend Dame M died there in about 2010 and her treatment was very good.

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  3. How nice to hear of a hospital doing well. I am passionately committed to our public health system, but have been less than impressed with the treatment my partner has received in our local hospital. Sadly the standard of care he received in the private hospital was much, much better.

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    1. EC, that is why we need to argue and agitate for improvements to our public system. Our private health care system costs us in one way or another a huge amount of money, and so it should be very good.

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  4. I'm sure it's the same in every state, not enough money budgeted for essential services. I'm also sure we aren't the only state with an egocentric premier determined to leave an excessively elaborate 'shrine' to his time in office. The Fiona Stanley Hospital has had quite a few glitches since it opened, the new children's hospital is underway. But I have to say Princess Margaret Children's Hospital was wonderful with my little great niece after the accident and Joondalup Hospital was brilliant with mum before she passed. We have been lucky enough to have positive experiences but I'm sure there are many not so lucky.

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    1. Grace, I guess hit and miss is the phrase. I have heard of shocking cases in the public system but my personal experiences have been pretty good. We also must remember that much has changed over the years in the public system. Children are very resilient. I hope your great niece is adjusting to her horribly changed life. For a child though, the comfort from a mum they have always known would be an awful thing to lose.

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  5. Melbourne too! We have been bombarded on TV about all the new towers planned for Brisbane. The new hospital sounds great. We need more we have ambulance queues waiting for hours for the patient to be seen. Scary for if anything happens to us.

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    1. Diane, I recently heard Bjelke Petersen coined the phrase about cranes on the sky line to measure the prosperity of a city. I have heard the phrase many times. We too have the ambulance queues, but if something is life threatening, you do jump to the top of the queue. Toothache and drunks go to the back of the queue

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  6. Anrew at my place public helthcare is free but it doesn't work well,But the private one is better but very expensive but I believe the public is better for all citizens

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    1. Gosia, it is quite expensive to provide good high care health care and it is a sign of a country being relatively wealthy.

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  7. Good to hear the State healthcare system is doing well and providing a hospital that meets the needs of the people.

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    1. Fun60, generally it does, although waiting lists for some treatments can be quite long, which is why some people have private health insurance. But use your private health insurance, and you will find you are very much out of pocket as well.

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  8. The new hospital sounds ok...I would always go to Private Hospital. All ambulances in Tasmania take people to the public hospital...have worked in both and they are both excellent.

    Will you get your view cut from your HighRiser if building goes ahead?

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    1. Margaret, I have used both and in future will choose public if I can. Yes, you certainly are treated very well in private hospitals.

      Just to be clear, they are views from the hospital. Most of our views are protected, especially the main view as in my header photo.

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    2. Ok...i re-read your view bit....i miss read...thanks for making it clear :)

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  9. Every day in our state, new fundraisers go up and are advertised for people who are injured or children with cancer, loved ones trying to pay the bills, as insurance pays little and one serious accident or illness, can bankrupt a family.

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    1. Strayer, that even happens here and I wonder why? Sometimes it is for treatment overseas with something experimental. There is no doubt your system is appalling for anyone who is not rich.

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  10. I believe, passionately, that public health care in the vein of that provided by the UK, Australia, and Canada must come to the States.

    Ignorance, and propagandising by medical interest groups, however, ensure that it's going to take a long, long time.

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    1. Jac, I had high hopes for your system when Obama came to power but the forces were so strongly against him.

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  11. Medicare is wonderful, it was great when the beer fairy had his heart attacks, at a time when you need all the help you can get it's there for you I must admit sometimes admit there are hiccups.
    Merle................

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    1. Merle, that is when I really want to be in the public health system, for anything really serious like that.

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  12. I wonder how much of the public hospital "bad news" is from people who seem to not realise "their" doctor also has a couple of hundred other patients to see to, so can't be there every minute; also those who don't realise much of the 'treatment' involves 'wait and see' and waiting for test results. Then there are those who unnecessarily clog up emergency departments, instead of going to their regular doctor.
    Apart from that, I've found public hospitals to be excellent, just very outdated with space and equipment.
    I'm also very glad I don't live in America with its deplorable system where you can't get treatment if you don't have insurance. I don't understand why they can't see that nationwide medicare systems are better for everyone and they're so resistant to change.

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    1. River, yes, there would be an amount of that. Public hospital doctors can work very long hours. Those who clog up emergency departments are a real problem but it is not helped by bulk billing doctors being driven to charging.

      I do understand that the US does have what is called Medicaid for people over a certain age, but I don't how good it is.

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