Thursday, March 10, 2011

What Hospital?

When I moved to Perfect in 1969 the town was pretty much a "full-service" town. If you couldn't find it in Perfect, you didn't need it. Things have changed radically, and long-gone is the hometown in which one's life could be lived and fulfilled if he so desired. Oh, the population is about the same, it's just that you have to go somewhere to get or do anything.

Subject of today's post (diatribe) is a case in point. We had a nice little hospital, the main building being at the time a dozen or so years old. One could have a child birthed there, one could have surgery if needed, or one could be "hospitalized" for a stay should health conditions warrant. We had a cadre of physicians, many of whom were our next-door neighbors, or who traveled a short distance from a neighboring town to provide specialty services, inasmuch as they had "privileges" at the local Memorial Hospital.

There have been some changes. The hospital is now, with gleaming, architecturally awesome new construction, approximately three or four times the size of the hospital of forty years ago. It is replete with stunning rotunda, massive rosewood pillars supporting the circular balcony above beautiful inlaid floor. Patient privacy is enhanced by private rooms for the intake process.

But what services can you expect? The "hospital" is largely a huge suite of offices for personnel whose function is not entirely clear, for one cannot get much more done than to see a physician who will refer to a remote facility. The closest one is 29 miles down the road. Moreover, since there are now only two hospitals in the state, as I put it, many of the specialists who used to provide services in Perfect no longer have privileges because they are affiliated with the "wrong" hospital. There are no maternity services, whereas there used to be a state-of-the-art maternity facility. Now one can drive the thirty miles to hospital. There are no longer any children born in Perfect County, unless by sheer accident, i.e., inability to get Mother out of the county before the little rascal pokes his little head out of the birth canal. One used to be able to get a prescription filled at the hospital pharmacy. Not allowed now, policy, one guesses, of the Mother Ship. Oh, you can still go there to die when they (there's that ubiquitous "they" again) have finished with all the procedures available at the other "campuses" to keep you alive.

(There is no bitterness here, because as I write this I am in the "remote" location where spouse is receiving services of cardiologist.)

It probably is not necessary for me to go on. It probably wasn't really "necessary" in the truest sense of the word for me to post this at all. But...

Things change. And sometimes a lot of good people take a lot of bad decisions. imho.

Still and all, I am grateful for medical professionals who work tirelessly to keep us alive and well.

9 comments:

Lin said...

So what DOES the hospital offer? No maternity?? That's crazy. 30 miles is a long drive to have your baby.

Everybody and everything needs a specialist now and that is really frustrating--especially when you don't live in a city where there are more than one hospital and boat loads of doctors.

I'll bet it is frustrating--especially now when you need help and it would be nice to be closer to home.

vanilla said...

Lin, my daughter worked in maternity at the old hospital. When that department was closed, she was offered employment at the campus thirty miles away. What could she do? She's been making that drive for five years now.

Secondary Roads said...

How the times have changed.

I do hope your wife is doing better soon. We are praying for her.

Grace said...

And how is that even a hospital? I live in an area where hospitals abound and compete with each other for your insurance dollars and the still stink!

Hope things are going betterer and betterer for your wife.

Vee said...

"Perfect County" is not the only place that is being denied services. And by no stretch of the imagination are decisions made in the interest of the residents/patients. It's no wonder that doctors don't choose family practice as a specialty anymore. What is the use of those professionals?

vanilla said...

Chuck: Thank you for the kind thoughts. Times have changed. I like to remember, however, that not all change is progress.

Vee: Consolodation, conglomeration, bigger is better. It's all about control. From whence come the bucks and where they go.

vanilla said...

Grace, we appreciate the expression of good wishes. I do understand that medical care is all about money in one way or another.

Sharkbytes said...

We still have a hospital in the county at least. I'm guessing the Beautiful does not need maternity services anyway.

vanilla said...

Shark, right, and there's a blessing. She has filled in that square, and that square, and...