Friday 30 May 2008

Kerry General Hospital Incompetence

Last weekend I hurt my left foot while walking along a country road in Kerry, I couldn't walk on it so I went to A&E in Tralee to get it looked at. The admission fee is €66 so I paid up and took a seat. The waiting area was grubby and smelled faintly like urine.

After an hour and a half, during which time a few more people had arrived but nobody before me had been seen, a nurse came in and announced that there was a road traffic accident coming in and that would add a couple of hours onto existing waiting times. Shortly after that an ambulance rushed in with a cardiac arrest.

I realised that as my foot was not critical I could end up spending more than 12 hours in there and end up on Joe Duffy sighing out my story, so I opted to leave. I had to come back to Dublin anyway.

On the way out I informed admissions that I was leaving and asked for my €66 back. Unfortunately they couldn't give it to me because they didn't have a "system in place" for refunds. After a little back and forthing they suggested I write a letter to the hospital and see if something could be done. Off I limped without my refund.

Back in Dublin I went into VHI Swiftcare where I consulted with a Nurse, then a Doctor, was x-rayed, bandaged and seen off faster than I could drink my complimentary cappuccino. The bill was €205 which included the crutches (€25) that I get to keep, just in case anyone out there is ever looking for a pair.

I rang up Patient Accounts in Tralee Hospital and enquired after my €66, (on principle I don't think they should get to keep it)

I explained my story to the accounts person.

Accounts Woman
So you want a refund?


Accounts Woman
Why didn't you just get it when you were there?

I asked for one but they refused, told me to write a letter.

Accounts Woman 
Who did you ask?

Admission, the people I paid.

Accounts Woman
Did you see a doctor?

No, blah blah hour and a half blah blah emergency blah blah decided to leave.

Accounts Woman
So why didn't they give you your money back?

I don't know, they said they didn't have a system.

Accounts Woman

They said they...

Accounts Woman
Okay Okay, we'll have to post it back to you, what are your details again....

Ultimately, the point is that people employed by the hospital, dealing with patients, in pain, do not know what they are doing. (Surprised?)

And so it was that the last whisper of faith I had in the Irish Public Healthcare system has now evaporated. It is a truly shameful, disorganised, confused, filthy shambles. If you plan on getting sick, leave the country now.

Tuesday 27 May 2008

My Left Foot

I'm hobbling around on crutches at the moment due to an unfortunate interaction between my foot and some gravelly road. You don't know what you got until it's gone, as Pete Setera might say, I am sorely missing full use of my left foot.

I am supposed to be going to Art Basel next week so it is possibly an injury of disastrous proportions unless I can get better faster stronger, so I am following the proscribed RICE with dicipline.
That's Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation, for those of you who might suffer my soft tissue damage fate.

PS Why do so many people spell my name wrong??

Friday 23 May 2008

Ellen talks about the elephant in the room.

Ellen had John Mc Cain on her show and asked him about that oh so thorny issue Gay Marriage (insert appropriate scary music here)

I love her final comeback!

PS I'm still rooting for Hill Dog, but any democrat will do!

Thursday 8 May 2008

The new Lighthouse opens it's doors

I went to the Lighthouse Cinema opening in Smithfield last night. It's a fantastic space with loads of seating and chilling areas and 4 great screens. All cinemas feature nice comfy seats with decent legroom. Screen 2, (pictured with Susan and Audrey seated) is the most colorful.

The film we saw was Priceless with Audrey Tatou, a frivolous french comedy that has a better title sequence than script. The print was a bit dusty but I guess that was because it's old (the movie was released in 2006). 

I'm looking forward to making regular trips to Smithfield, I think people are going to love the Lighthouse.

Wednesday 7 May 2008

Rock God

Until I get the chance to pop down to the Point Depot and photograph this for real, I snapped of one of the screens in the Traffic Management Centre.

How scary is this?

You are beautiful - Update

Last year I posted a photo of this piece of graffiti, and walking past it today I noticed that it had been updated. What surprises me most is the fact that in the intervening 6 months the original stencil was neither vandalised or removed!

These little stencil men are everywhere at the moment.