Pretty crook

Recently I spent an unanticipated 24 hours as an inpatient in a
Victorian country hospital. I won’t name the town, and I doubt that
it matters. I came away feeling healthier, but also angrier. The
dedication of the medical, nursing and other staff was as good as
I’ve encountered in Melbourne hospitals – if not better. But the
general staff morale was another matter, and some openly admitted as
much. The general age and condition of most of the buildings and
equipment bespoke decades of underfunding and disregard. Most areas
were gloomy, and workspaces cramped and inadequate. I observed that
no Metropolitan hospital would be allowed to reach such a state,
which was news to no one.

In recent years we’ve had no lack of spin, accusation and
counter-spin on the subject of health and hospitals, at federal and
state levels. But to my observation at least neither side of federal
or state politics is overly interested in country hospitals. It would
be good to hope that a few bob from the pre-election fire sale might
be directed to granting country Victorians the standard of hospital
facilities Melburnians take for granted. But I’m dreaming, aren’t I


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