I had the misfortune of having to go to Canberra Hospital Emergency on Wednesday with my Father and endure a 5 1/2 hour wait before seeing a doctor.
We sat patiently without complaining or questioning the staff as I have sympathy for the predicament they find themselves in. During the wait I was amazed at the amount of people who present themselves with minor ailments which surely must be the better suiter to the local GP than the emergency room.
An elderly gentleman was brought in by ambulance officers in a wheelchair as he could not walk. After a while a nurse asked him to sit on the chair so they could use the wheelchair for another patient as they don’t have enough. His wife of course objected and the nurse was forced to go elsewhere in search of another wheelchair.
I became very frustrated that the people doing the constant complaining kept being put to the top of the list and were being called before us. At the 5 hour mark I changed tack and politely went to the desk and enquired about the wait and we were called shortly after.
Now, I have no problem with the staff as I know they are doing the best they can and are under constant pressure from the public and a system being clogged up with people who cannot afford the GP fees and go to the Hospital to get a certificate for free. But I have a big problem with a hospital not having enough basic equipment such as wheelchairs and adequate staff. How can the Government spend $27 million on the Arboretum or $750,000 on that metal monstrosity they call art on the Barton Highway when Hospitals do not have the staff or equipment to service the Canberra Community.
I don’t have a particular objection to public art and I like trees as much as the next person but surely the health services for the Canberra people come first. The Government cannot justify spending money on Stanhopian Monuments when the people they are meant to serve are forced to suffer inadequate services. The system in place at the moment does not work and is only going to get worse.
How many wheelchairs can $750,000 buy?