Thursday, March 11, 2010

Superbugs in HK Hospitals bug me

I am not a big fan of government hospitals and the ones here deserve my scorn more than many I've seen. I bring this up because there is a front-page, above the fold article today in the nearly always unreliable SCMP about the growing problem of antibiotic resistant bacterial in Hong Kong Hospitals. I will give the SCMP the benefit of the doubt on this story because the issue is easy enough for a student with mental disabilities, such as journalist to understand.

Unlike a lot of ex-pats I do not make enough money to use the private hospitals here. I must use the public ones. So I have had the opportunity to use the services of the public hospitals in Hong Kong on more than one occasion and can verify the claims made by the paper from my own experience. They are dirty, the care is lousy and the staff generally un caring.

A case in point: Several weeks ago the really-pretty-very smart-hard working-looks 25 years younger than she is- Chinese-wife got sick. She was dehydrated from a mild case of food poisoning and fell in the bathroom after passing out. I carried her back to bed and called an ambulance to take her the emergency room. We then spent several hours in the emergency room while they gave her fluid through an IV and something to ease the other symptoms she was experiencing. Despite the professionalism of some of the staff it was a thoroughly un-enjoyable experience for reasons other than her sickness. I was impressed by how dirty and ragged Ruttongee hospital looked when we were there.

The equipment was in poor mechanical shape.

The walls were painted a very dingy color making the entire place seem depressing.

There was a dirty old woman, apparently a street sleeper who was roaming from bed to bed taking naps; I mean she was absolutely filthy. Yet, as far as I can tell nobody on the hospital staff asked her to leave or at least stay in one place.

There was also a small group of staff standing around talking. Maybe they were off work so I can't say they were goofing off but their conversation was intriguing. One of them had just managed to join the ranks of civil servants who work for the hospital. They were quizzing another such employee on ways to defraud the system, receive extra benefits and milk more money for less work. In a sense I can't blame them as they are simply part of the system.

That is the point; it is the system that is wrong. Socialized health care always seems to mean poor service, uncaring staff and prices not noticeably lower than could be obtained through private care. At least it appears to everywhere it is tried. Honestly, the trip was only worth HKD $100.00 because we had to endure crazy old woman, slow service, a bed that wouldn't work right and loud uncaring cleaning staff. The problem is we actually pay much more than that for this service through taxes. If I am going to pay the taxes that would provide me with an at least 2nd class hospitalization policy I want at least 2nd class service.

So, the cry is raised yet again. Fire some civil servants. Don't reduce the pay of the ones entering the system Fire the higher ups that make 80gazzillon a month for doing nothing except eating dim sum.

How about this? Rather than pushing paper all day how about some of the hoity-toits get out of the fancy office and come wipe down some surfaces in the hospitals they administrate. How about making the high level administrators USE the hospitals they run? I guarantee that if THBT had to take his wife to Ruttongee he'd be expecting better care than we received.
Until Next Time
Fai Mao
The Blogger who wants to see an antibiotic that kills civil servants

1 comment:

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