Friday, November 13, 2009

A remarkably calm rant about the state of our local health care.

Spent most of the day running in slow germy circles getting Eldest checked out at a hospital.  She's had a stomach ache for days, and the anti-biotic she was given wasn't doing anything.  She is doing much better now just so ya know.

There is something inherently dreary about wandering about in hospitals.  You come out feeling so...contaminated.

It was interesting the sheer number of grandmas and grandpas who were at the hospital.  Couples too.  I don't remember having gone to the hospital together on a working day when the kids were young, though maybe memory fails. It is probably a function of driving with a sick baby.  Simply easier if done in tandem.

There were a whole lot of grandmas and grandpas though.  Mom seems to bring a certain amount of moral support with her.  Especially those with young babies.  Never thought of getting my folks to come with me, I must say.

Though now that I think about it, both my Dad and the Man did end up coming with us one time...Youngest was sick, and they returned home with Eldest, who threw the MOST unholy hissy fit when it was time for them to leave.  Went on the entire way home and a good portion of the time once they got there.

Interestingly, at the hospital, a very prominent and excellent one here,  EVERYONE could speak to me in Catalan.  Not like the doctor/quack/dipsh*t I had the misfortune of seeing the other day with eldest.  When I asked if he could please speak Catalan, he said he couldn't and just continued on in Spanish.  Cabron.  (Not polite at all in Catalan).  He did NOT go and get someone to translate, he did not even try.  The women at the front desk did the same.  The village where we live is very very Catalan.  Barcelona is clearly less so.  The hospital is obviously able to pick and chose it's staff much more closely and hospital policy is obviously quite pro-Catalan as most if not all of the signs were in Catalan, and many only in Catalan.

The only person we got who couldn't speak Catalan to us automatically and instantly asked for someone to translate (unlike our local *ssh*le), and judging by his name and look (never a good idea, but work with me here) he probably spoke Arabic.  A much needed language within the hospital, so if he can successfully communicate with those patients, I can forgive him his Catalan.  Especially as he immediately got someone who could talk to us.

THAT my friends, is the rudiments of good health care.  Along with soap in the bathrooms, which - I kid you not - my local health center didn't have.  There was a sign outside the room about the importance of hand washing in preventing the spread of H1N1/ GripA; no soap inside.  The bathroom had been just cleaned.

I kid you not.


Beth said...

I'm with you: communication and soap are two of the basics of healthcare.
If you can't understand what your patients are saying and can't even give them the means to wash their hands properly, you have problems- big problems...

Beth said...

Oh! I forgot to add that I'm glad Eldest is doing better!!

oreneta said...

Beth, so am I. Are the French as laid back about soap? I know we N Americans are supposed to be hysterical and all, but in the health center????

kate said...

Yuck, I'm glad she's feeling better.

When I was at the hospital a couple of weeks ago, it seemed like in sevral cases the whole family was there hanging out-- four and even five people per patient (not in every case, of course, but still...)

Doesn't BCN have a strict policy that all signs must be in Catalan (and can also be in Spanish if so desired?) I agree, communication (and yes, soap!) is a must. I saw signs at our hospital advertising a free tele-translation service in various languages-- I think what they do is have someone translate by phone. A good idea.