Wednesday 2 April 2008

Just an Observation

I have just been at the hospital taking my father to see a specialist.

Now I am quite familiar with this hospital because he once spent almost a year there. Long story. One mistake after another. Of course his story is one that is repeated again and again in public hospitals all over the world.

Today I had time to walk around while waiting. I noticed things that I had never seen before.

Hospitals are like small self sufficient communities. You can do everything there. Eat, sleep, have your hair done, shop for clothes, toys, newspapers, flowers or even have a BBQ on the deck. Not only that but you get all the other benefits of being surrounded by medical professionals. You know, those ad hoc services like life saving operations, baby's r us and nips and tucks on demand (if your wallet and poor self esteem allows).

Somehow today I found it all a bit disturbing.

There were all these people being wheeled down the corridors and many others were wandering around in dressing gowns with bandages, tubes hanging out of them, in wheelchairs and looking drugged to the eyeballs. And then, there were others pacing up and down with worried looks on their faces. Exactly what you would expect to see in a hospital I guess.

Until I saw the Cafe. It was a huge Cafe (now named by me as McHospitals) selling nothing but cakes, cookies, donuts, fries, milkshakes, hamburgers and sweets. It was packed with people and there was a queue out the door. Was I in a shopping mall or a hospital or isn't there much of a distinction anymore?

I know hospitals are businesses but don't they have some responsibility to the communities they look after? Aren't they in the health business? Or, is it just good business on their part. Do hospitals have to have a marketing strategy to get new business and retain the business they have? Do they have a revolving door strategy? I can see it now.

Feed our patients and visitors trans fat laden foods with a smile and eventually they will come back to us being wheeled into emergency after an unfortunate heart attack.

I know, it's a pessimistic view but if we don't feed children rubbish in schools why are they doing it in place where people are sick and need all the care they can get. It's not like they are offering a healthy choice. Healthy is not profitable in a hospital it seems unless they are opening us up to try and undo the damage unhealthy lifestyles create.

Health is the one thing that no amount of money on earth can bring back once we have lost it. If you have any doubts go hang around a hospital for a while and you will be bought back into reality about how important your health is.

Are hospitals giving us more than we bargained for? I found it a scary but powerful reminder that I also need to take my own health a little more seriously.


  1. When I took my son to the Royal Childrens Hospital, the only way in was past McDonalds. In the hospital. For a child that is fasting for surgery that is beyond cruel.

    Not to mention a childrens hospital condoning McDonalds?

  2. Kelley

    No way McDonalds in the hospital? Is that where Ronald McDonald House is because there are some links aren't there between McDonalds and children's hospitals. Thats really scary, actually. The almight dollar speaks I guess.

  3. That is very sad.Royal North Hospital has the best cafeteria -subway and some coffee franchise but the apparently the worse medical facilities. I bet they are all leased out but never the less you are right about the junk food they serve.

    OMG at Kelley's comment- that is so cruel I didn't know that either.
    Westmead kids doesn't thank goodness.

    Yes the almighty dollar speaks.

  4. Baby - amore - Maybe it's an either/or situation. You can't get decent medical and decent food at the one itme. It's either one or the other.


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