Sunday, 25 February 2007

Where is the Love?

Today, a mother wrote in to the papers expressing her disappointment...

Her 9-year-old son fell and broke two teeth while attending a course at a community centre. The course instructor did nothing. He didn't attend to the boy nor inform the parents. He told the boy to wash up in the toilet and continued his class.

She rushed her son to the dentist after class and was told by the receptionist to wait for his turn as "everyone is in pain and wants to see the dentist first". There was a long queue. When they saw the dentist two hours after the accident, they learnt that the chances of restoring the tooth would be higher if it had been soaked in saline solution or milk. Of course they didn't know that because the receptionist didn't bother.

I have seen the same scenario being played over and over again. This little girl at the neighbourhood clinic was having a bad case of asthma attack. Her face was extremely pale and her breath was laboured. She was having cold sweat and looked really sick. Her father was anxiously waiting for their turn. Ocassionally he would walk to the counter and ask the receptionist to expedite. There were lots of other patients waiting but no one volunteered to give up their turn for the kid.

I couldn't stand it any longer. I walked to the counter and told the receptionist the girl looked really sick. Finally, they brought her into another room for treatment.

In the same clinic, I have witnessed a middle-aged man with a 2-inch nail protruding from his thumb. He worked in the woodwork factory nearby and had gotten into an industrial accident. He wasn't given any emergency treatment either. He had to wait for his turn. Later, I asked the doctor about his condition and was told that the injury was too severe, he was asked to go to the hospital to seek treatment. Now was the waiting (in pain) even necessary?

Years ago, I almost severed my thumb while cutting cardboard in the office. I was in alot of pain and bleeding profusely. I rushed to the nearest clinic and asked the nurse if I could see the doctor immediately. There were 2 other patients before me. She said, "You have to wait. Or you can ask the other patients if you could go first". My thumb was by now wrapped in blood soaked tissues. One of them avoided me while the other said "No" and looked away.

I almost cried, not because of the pain, but by their lack of sympathy.

Where is the love, people?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This blog reminds me the reason why I like the movie Love Actually... well not because of Hugh Grant (though that counts a big part), it reminds me that love happens only in the movie sets in Hollywood. It's sad, but true.
~ V