Average wait times in ER departments in hospitals in the US are now well beyond 4 hours. This means some people, triaged for necessary immediate care get care in WAY less time and some people who are there because they have no health insurance and no other option to access any kind of healthcare are waiting WAY longer than 4, yes that's what I said, FOUR hours. Is is 6 hours? 8 hours? Longer?
I just watched a report on CNN on this issue. And while I'm delighted that the news network is calling attention to the plight of those waiting in ER departments, the point of the report degenerated into advice for getting care sooner than later. You think I'm kidding. I'm not.
The list of "Things to do" to try to jump the queue...
1. Tell the ER attendant that the person you've brought in is not acting normally
2. Ask to speak to the charge nurse
3. Say the person you've brought in has become worse and ask for a re-evaluation
And ... when all else fails.... say you know the president of the hospital. Yes. That's right. The two "reporters" discussed the fact that VIP's get special treatment. If all else fails, "play that card."
That card would be the "privilege card." This may be the most disgusting thing I've ever seen on a news program. Nevermind the poor person without insurance whose spouse or friend is out of their mind in fear and losing it, being labeled beligerant and escorted out by security while their loved one languishes without treatment, nevermind that you have insurance, and clean clothes and a haircut that puts you near the head of the line anyhow, nevermind that triage is set up for a purpose.... so care for the one who most needs the care first, gets it first. Nevermind all of that and fairness and integrity and doing the right thing and waiting your turn. Didn't we learn about that in .... oh yes, kindergarden?
All I can do is shake my head.