Secretive bureaucrats withhold information about errors occuring in nursing homes. And lazy politicians regurgitate emotional cliches about caring for the elderly. Meanwhile, bad staff slip through the cracks and the vulnerable suffer.
Imagine if someone in your family was diagnosed with a mental illness. Would you be happy to find them living on the streets, being bashed by street gangs and too terrified to even tell the police?
While the majority of elderly people state they want to die at home, only 14% will be granted their wishes. Over half will actually die in hospital, often in a noisy and impersonal environment.
Everybody makes mistakes during medical procedures. To err is human. But if errors aren't followed up, then a small problem can quickly become a life threatening one.
Managing the huge variety of patients that come through hospital doors is not that easy. That is why continuous education for nurses and Doctors is so important.
In Australia the majority of cancer treatment is now being conducted in the private sector. Many of these are small hospitals, with no Doctor available outside standard hours, lower nurse qualifications and higher nurse to patient ratios.
Elderly frail people on multiple medications and busy, error prone hospitals are a bad combination.
The rising costs of the health industry is like the Greek myth of the Hydra. It can only be battled and overcome using intelligence and good strategies.
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