Friday, 13 May 2011

I'm So Sorry You're Dying, But I'm Going To Need The Pink Form First.


Just the word alone makes me cringe.

I think, that one day, way back when man created government and government procedure, some smart ass said .
"Well if the process for applying for any documentation is easy, we'll be working every [insert deity being worshipped at the time]damn minute , every day. Here's an idea. Let's make it complicated, perplexing, and best of all, soul numbingly time consuming."

The hospital is government run , which means bureaucracy is effervescent within our halls. You're probably thinking, hey wait a minute! What if the patient's dying? Are they really cruel enough to let the family go through the unbearable torture of paperwork as he's slowly drifting off of this world into the next.

Yes. Yes we absolutely are.

Here's what happens so that a patient , let's say he's been in a car accident, can get admitted into a ward. This is assuming his only problem is , a broken hip for instance.

(Get ready to be BORED OUT OF YOUR MIND)

  1. The family goes to the window and gets a pink slip and records his name.
  2. The pink slip is given to a doctor in the triage who then gives them a white slip to go to the Orthopedic ER.
  3. The doctors there send the patient back to the ER because he needs to go to Resuscitation first (to make sure nothing else is wrong with him).
  4. The doctor in the Triage gives them another white slip to go to Resuscitation.
  5. The doctors in Resuscitation need a CT of the brain to make sure there's no injury as well. 
  6. A CT request is obtained.
  7. The CT request is stamped.
  8. The patient goes and gets the CT done (and if you've read any of my posts, you know this can go on for fucking hours) then goes back to Resuscitation.
  9. The doctors declare he's alright and he needs to go back to Orthopedic ER.
  10. The doctors in Orthopedic ER order an X-Ray.
  11. The X-ray is done and the doctors decide he's worthy enough of an admission and consequently, surgery.
  12. The doctors need the white slip to be signed by a Neurosurgeon AND a Surgeon so they can declare he's alright.
  13. The family goes to look for said Neurosurgeon AND said Surgeron.
  14. They wait a few hours until they find the doctors and they get the papers signed..Possible ending to this step: The family lose their shit over waiting for the doctors and decide to threaten and hit doctors, OR they just leave with the patient. After Step 14, life is relatively easy. It can seriously take 4-5 hours until they find a Neurosurgeon AND a Surgeon free enough to sign a piece of goddamn paper.
  15. They go back to Orthopedics, where the doctor tells them they need to go back to the window so they can sign and get an admissions form.
  16. The window tells them to go back to Orthopedics and have the doctor sign on the white slip saying it's okay for him to be admitted.
  17. They go back to the doctor. Just before he signs it, he asks the family whether or not he's gotten the blood samples and test results.
  18. They shake their heads and say no.
  19. The doctor doesn't sign and tells them they need to get a nurse to get the blood samples and send them to the lab for any diseases.
  20. They go back into the ER and wait for said nurse or intern to take the samples.
  21. The samples are taken and sent to the lab.
  22. They wait another hour.
  23. They get the results, show it to the doctor who decides to sign off on it.
  24. They go back to the window, exchange the white slip for an admissions form.
  25. They congratulate themselves and pat themselves on the back for a job well done.

25 FUCKING steps! I want to tell you I'm exaggerating. I want to tell you I'm embellishing, but I'm not. It's fucking ridiculous. Bear in mind this is all necessary paperwork, and if any of them is stopped, FOR ANY REASON, odds are the patient will have to wait until it's all done. Now we're not monsters. No, we don't let the patient do any of this. If the patient is in a critical condition, we'll treat him right away but someone's going to HAVE to do the paperwork in order for things to go smoothly. I've been with families throughout this procedure. It's relentlessly exhausting, and this is from someone who knows where to go and how to contact the doctors. Most of the times, they're just left there to do this ALL on their own (with the exception of the few obvious steps).

It's enough to drive any sane man crazy. 

I'll end this with a video of a cartoon I once loved as a kid: Asterix and the 12 Tasks. One of the tasks was for them to get a specific permit from a building, without going crazy.
I urge anyone who's ever had to go through government bullshit to watch this. You'll get a kick out of it, I promise :

I hope to God that smart ass is stuck in Hell for eternity, doomed to look for a permit (that doesn't exist) in a building of gargantuan size and unbearable heat.


  1. Just what is the mortality rate in your hospital? This sounds like a freakin' Marx Brothers movie........