Friday, July 20, 2012

Mother Bunyip's Ordeal

MORE than a week has passed since Mother Bunyip nosedived into the coffee table and, as of yesterday, she had been shuttled between three different hospitals. Her injuries are nasty but relatively minor, and if she was 30 years younger there is no doubt she would have been home by now. Instead, and at considerable expense to the taxpayer, she has been swallowed by the public health system, where care and compassion are filtered through the bureaucratic imperative. Don't draw the wrong take on that remark -- with the exception of a former East German lady weightlifter pretending to be a nurse ("You vil sit up NOW!") the medical staffers are almost universally lovely, even when on the receiving end of this particular patient's sometimes sharp tongue. The problem is the system, as has become obvious to all the family members who have spent some time sitting by her bed.

Mother Bunyip needs to be in a rehab unit, but no beds are available, so she has continued to occupy a "chronic bed" while being kept on ice until the preferred option is available. In the meantime, other people's ailing mothers are being shunted from this hospital to that because of the general shortage of beds being occupied by people who should be elsewhere. Getting Father Bunyip into and out of the hospital for his daily visits has been an ordeal, again because of an administrative attitude very much divorced from the needs of the moment. The Pater can barely walk these days -- a terrible cross for a man who, in his vigorous youth, represented Victoria in three different sports -- so he needs a wheelchair. Now you might think those conveyances would be easily found in a modern hospital. Not so! On average it has taken over 30 minutes every day to scout one up, get it down to the lobby and load Dad into the seat. If he vacates it, perhaps to sit in the chair by Mum's bed, chances are some  questing soul will stick his or her head into the ward and ask to "borrow" it.

One of the nurses blamed Victoria's semi-absent Premier Ted Baillieu, insisting that things had been, and would be, better under Labor. She will not have all that long to wait, as the next election will surely see this do-nothing state government turfed out on its ear, at which point the coven of kept creatures who isolate Baillieu from increasingly anxious members of his party, up to and including out-of-favour members of his own Cabinet, will have to find someone other than themselves to blame. Expect this effort to be entirely successful, as Ted the Twerp's inner circle has demonstrated a remarkable ability to explain away all the very obvious reasons why their boss is on the nose. What they won't talk about, however, is the government's lack of achievements and the absolute void where its conservative principles should dwell.


Now a good start would be roll up the sleeves and reform the hospital system, but that is not likely to happen. With Health Minister David Davis anxious to move to the lower house, where a bid to replace Baillieu is likely to follow in short order, his top priority appears to be scheming and plotting to winkle Prisons Minister Andrew McIntosh out of his safe seat of Kew. In the meantime, the hospitals go unreformed, nurses preach the virtues of voting Labor, and Mother Bunyip is as low as any members of her family have ever seen her.


For God's sake, can't Victorians get just a little taste of a government that believes in at least one of the traditional conservative virtues? You know, like efficiency?

FOOTNOTE: While wheelchairs are in short supply, social workers are laid on thick. Yesterday, a slip of a girl stopped by to see Mother Bunyip, addressed her without invitation by her first name (as if speaking to a child), and then opined that "we wouldn't let you go home until we have sent someone over to see how you can cope."

Wouldn't let! It would be folly for Mother Bunyip to check herself out of the hospital, but she doesn't need the arogance of someone who, unable to satisfy entrance requirements for teachers college, made a career in professional stickybeaking.

21 comments:

  1. I think it was Frank Devine who remarked on the trend for strangers to address people by their first names, in all circumstances. If it's done to pretend a sort of relationship, then it's unwelcome.

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    1. " made a career in professional stickybeaking."

      Perfect description of what social workers and others in the so called "helping" professions do for a living.

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  2. I hope Mother Bunyip has a speedy and full recovery.

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  3. Pleased to hear that Mother Bunyip is on the mend. I hope that she is home with Mr. Bunyip Snr. soon.

    Your comments regarding Mr. Ballieu's government have an echo over here on the western side of this continent. Mr. Barnett has apparently given more than five million dollars towards the cost of installing an untested wave power electicity generating green wet dream.

    What's with these so-called conservative Premiers? Can we borrow that Newman chap from Queensland, he appears to be built of the right stuff.

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    1. Have you had a look at the wave power site? They still do not have one working. When they do it will sink under the weight of barnacles.

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  4. "entrance requirements for teachers college"
    Small but significant point in the context of your rant about Social Workers and Teachers - "Teachers' Colleges" ceased to exist years ago.

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    1. Oh the unconceus irony of the leftard.

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    2. "Oh the unconceus(sic)irony of the leftard.
      Oh the unconscious ignorance of the right wing lunatic.

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    3. The snarling impotent rage of the superannuated bolshie.

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  5. The Old and Unimproved DaveJuly 20, 2012 at 3:30 PM

    Re a wheelchair, have you spoken to the Salvos or St Vinnies yet ? Amazing what they can russle up after a ring-around sometimes.

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  6. There is an awful tendency in health care to call everyone by their first name, unasked. It doesn't sit well with people some decades their senior.

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    1. It's the result of baby boomers wanting to seem young and hip by insisting that they be called by their first name. The young just use the first name for all then. Also, it is because of the ire evoked by using the wrong female title i.e. Mrs, Miss or Ms. They are just playing it safe by using the first name.

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  7. Good to hear Mother Bunyip isn't too serious and is on the mend. I attended a public emergency with a badly broken, though reducted (shifted), wrist and then had to wait two more weeks for the orthopaedic consultation. Upon viewing my X-ray his first words were "Sh*t" and I was promptly put on the ASAP surgery list. Then during my hospital stay was asked by a nutritionist if I had any special dietary issues or needs - they sure have some funny priorities.

    My emergency doctor did tell me that I should expect to see a specialist in a matter of days, and this was indicated in the notes, though somewhere behind the scenes some non-medically trained goose involved in making appointments had made the decision that broken bones could wait 2 weeks. The operation was described as "big", requiring 4 hours in theatre and 2 incisions.

    Something I noticed during my visits which included on-going physio - any time I saw administrative staff walking around the hospital they were invariably female and commonly of the younger aesthetic variety; now we have to be careful here, this doesn't mean females are inept administrators but it does indicate that hiring practices aren't fully geared towards recruiting the most competent, which you would think would produce a more even gender spread. I'm reminded of HR departments.

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  8. Bunyip, hope mother is home in her own place before long. As to soial workers, wll while working in the UK some years ago all the ocial workers in Tower Hamlets went on strike. They stayed out for a year. When they came back it was to find their former clients were happier than the social workers were. Some are good, many are just ever so superior.

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    1. Mother,

      Your post reminds me of a strike by the Canberra bus drivers in the 1970s. They went on strike for a week for something or the other, increased wages I expect, then returned to work the following week without having their demand met.

      Apparently, no one was impacted by the strike. Everyone went about their business in their own vehicles as per usual, so no one was even aware that they were on strike.

      After a week the drivers became aware that their jobs were quite superfluous to community requirements, so they thought it best to return to work while their jobs still existed.

      P.S. The longest distance between two points is a Canberra bus route.

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  9. Well country hospitals are pretty good but I guess some areas of medicine are stretched to the limit and having to drive hours for specialist is sure a pain in the a##e

    Re Ballieu, I think the current fiasco of unionists holding the bloody state to ransom is the last straw,and the impotence of the police as bad as if we hadn't got rid of the flamin' hugs and gay march idiot woman Chief Commissioner whose "work" I hated so much!!
    I'm considering resigning from the Libs, but I joined because I like Abbott and he hasn't had his go yet!

    Give me the days of SR'enry Bolte all over again--he called a spade a bloody shovel and knew what one was for!!

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  10. It amuses me, as a nurse, to hear them preaching about the virtues of voting Labor. Such short memories, so easily manipulated by their Labor-Right controlled Union, so forgetful of which Party was in power when they say their wages and conditions fell so far behind every other State (which they did). And your experience with the slip of a social worker is indeed a sign of things coming right now. Basic ignorance of real life mixed with a healthy dose of contrived tech-college turned Uni professionalism, and oblivious, modern rudeness.

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  11. All the best to Mother Bunyip.

    'Swallowed by the public health system'- Beautifully expressed. Three years back I had life saving heart surgery, for which I am eternally grateful.

    However as a still relatively young, and very strong minded individual I was amazed at the way your life spirals out of control once the system has you in its grasp.

    Gotta love Doctors and Nurses, but Hospital is like a hideous time machine that regresses you back to a powerless infant like state as those around you decide what's best for you while you watch on impotently.

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  12. Suggest you read "Deadly healthcare" by James Dunbar, for a good background to why the health care system is stuffed full of bureaucratic levels of admin people, instead of health being managed by medical graduates who have some idea what they are doing. Health systems in Australia are predicated on the notion that hospitals/health services should be run like a corporation such as McDonalds or IBM, instead of a community service. Until this mindset is undone, health services will suffer, as do the patients

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  13. The Pompous Git describes his kafkaeque experience of suffering from both a stroke and medical uncare at the Royal Hobart Hospital.

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  14. Bunyip, Is that the same David Davis who went by the name Harry Heidelberg at Webdiary?

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