Birthday's over for another year - not that I feel any older. Lots of visitors, cards and phone calls. What more could I ask for?
But on another subject, Virgo's recent appendicitis has led me to think about the state of our health system. Given the limited funding for public hospitals we still have reasonable quality health care in Australia. Our doctors and nurses work incredibly hard under difficult circumstances. This is not to say there isn't room for improvement. There certainly is. Mistakes are made and ambulance ramping is an indication that the government needs to be less focused on monetary cuts and more on innovative ways to improve the service.
That said however, in Virgo's case as far as treatment is concerned, whether she had private health cover or not, she would still have been placed in the same four bed ward in the public hospital, nursed by the same staff, had the same diagnostic tests and the same successful outcome as anyone else. The truth is that if you attend the Emergency Department of a public hospital with a life threatening emergency, you will be seen and attended to quickly and efficiently. If it is less serious you may well have to wait but you will receive appropriate treatment eventually. And, unlike some countries, you will receive whatever treatment you need. While you may have some costs to pay you will not be left with enormous medical bills that leave you struggling for years.
We have a family connection in Cambodia and when I hear how their health system and hospitals function I'm overwhelmingly grateful for ours whatever its imperfections. Our hospital system may need a major overhaul but at least we have infrastructure that can be built on and we definitely do not have a Third World health system.