Shoot The Messenger

Shoot The Messenger!

Thursday 15 November, 2007 – 08:36 by Swannie rambling along about unfairness.

If you be old enough, you only need to read history books to find published support for things you have actually experienced. This is no guarantee for accuracy, but does relieve the strain on your fingers from reading too much.

A few decades ago, in Canada, a group of concerned citizens approached the private railway company that had posted notice that the train service that had been reduced to a single round-trip service per day was going to be cancelled. 

The concerned citizens were given an appointment to discuss the matter, and on the appointed day and time were listened to by an obviously concerned railway official. At the end of the presentation, the railway official announced that the single remaining train service from the town in question for that day had not arrived yet. Since the citizens had obviously used private transport to attend the interview, they didn’t need to use the train to conduct such an important matter, adding weight to the railway’s argument that the service be cancelled. Enough said. Goodbye.

Seems a compelling argument, elegant in its simplicity. The railway official had neglected to mention a few pertinent points, though. The time of the appoitment had been set by the official. In order to use the train, the townspeople would have had to travel to the city the previous day, stayed overnight to attend the interview, and then stayed overnight again to catch the only train home. A matter of two nights accomodation for five people. As well as a total of 15 working days lost. For a one-hour interview.

Definitely a good way to guarantee a win for the railway. Why complain, though. Like the illiterate chap who wanted to complain about the education services in his town. He was told to write a personal letter of complaint. How about the government hospital doctor who was refused sick pay for not attending work, because she had neglected to provide a medical certificate. The fact that she had spent the missing days in a foreign hosptal as a patient was not sufficient, because the documents detailing her stay were from a non-acceptable source.

If only suicide was painless. Frustration certainly ain’t.

******      ******

Worth The Effort??

Thursday 15 November, 2007 – 01:01 by Swannietrying to interest the media in MRSA,

I’ve spent all night trying to send what follows to the major media organisations. So far tonight I have managed three successful sends. But in the two weeks I’ve been trying to contact anyone relevant, there have not been any substantial replies (and only one reply at all).

The whole country is in an uproar about the societal costs of equine influenza, with no stone left unturned in efforts to fix the blame on someone. But no one has died. But there has been no uproar about the 1000 or so Australians who will have died in 2007 because they were infected with MRSA.

There have been a few media mentions of the hideous weeping sores of those who have been infected by poor hospital hygiene with "golden staph", but no one seems to have publicly stated that this is just the public face of MRSA. You might be amongst the 10% infected with MRSA and draw the short straw and die (and if you happen to be in a hospital that suffered from an MRSA breakout, you only had a 50% chance of not being infected).

For a disease that whose existence is so vehemently denied, half a dozen different variants can be found in little old Australia. In fact, those who die of MRSA complications in a Sydney hospital can have posthumous pleasure in knowing that they have died from a different variant of the disease that plagues Perth hospitals. How nice. At last count, UK hospitals were facing up to 16 different variants of MRSA.

Why doesn’t this disease with its massively lethal complications rate so little mention in Australia? Why hasn’t anyone who just types "MRSA" into a search engine not been appalled by the lethality of the disease? Possibly because in Australia, all you find are repeated warnings to maintain hospital hygiene. The dirty linen is kept hidden unless you can prove you are a medical professional.

In less developed countries such as the US and the UK, hospitals, universities, health care providers, universities, and drug companies, all seem to vie with each other to sell services to avoid this plague. In Australia, federal and state health departments will not point the finger at anyone, because all are equally to blame. Medical professionals hide the existence of the disease, perhaps because if the truth came out, most would be liable for charges of negligent homicide or conspiracy. Mutual assured destruction keeps the truth at bay.

My own case is on the innocuous side of typical. Medical services don’t want to know about it; mention it to a doctor and suddenly the workload is too great for you to get any help; mention it to a politician, and you discover the truth of being ignored. I can’t even get a public servant to send me a benefit statement so I can apply for wheelchair-enabled housing, once the dreaded MRSA is mentioned. Why the attention-hungry media don’t run with the issue is beyond even the range of my paranoia.

I spent more than a month suffering infection control in hospital, and was never told once that I had been given MRSA. In fact, I was never corrected when I said the excuse for my medical isolation was previously diagnosed Legionnaires Disease. I was only told in a one line statement in my discharge summary that I had contacted MRSA and had been cured (and this is when medical practices define a patient as "infected" with MSRA for two years after the last signs of the disease have been found; if the last signs are found at all).

What gives folks? Did the country suffer a massive IQ drop for the month I was in a coma?

******      ******  


About alarchdu

This blog is just a stream of consciousness. I was severely crippled in 2007, and these are the thoughts generated as I think on this.
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