Wednesday, May 30, 2007
finally the ultimate irony has occurred. while working in private, the government hospital referred a patient to private because they had no surgeon on call and i received the patient. (to be honest they also had a problem with an icu bed so it is slightly more complex).
the whole incident was quite interesting. it was a tuesday. therefore i was doing my bit at the state hospital. (see failure and update) a patient came in with total obstruction of her airway due to multinodular goiter. nothing like the patient i featured in two heads, but her airway closed and she went quite blue. she came to the state hospital. in casualties she was intubated to allow her to breathe. because i was there the doctor asked me to take a look. he told me the vocal chords were very swollen and another intubation would be nearly inpossible. i said that she needed an urgent thyroidectomy and maybe an tracheostomy. i added i'd do it there at the state hospital. he just needed to phone me when it was time. i then left.
later the doctor on call for surgery phoned me. he told me the administration was not happy with me operating the patient there (at no cost whatsoever to them) because i'm not on their staff, but also that there was no sister to man the icu bed the patient would need. therefore the administration had given permission for the patient to be sent to the private hospital on their bill. lo and behold, the patient was transferred to me at the private hospital. i did the thyroidectomy and a tracheostomy and put the patient in our icu.
and the irony? the bill will probably be about what i and the other surgeons were asking for in overtime for about 6 months because of the icu admission etc. and that for only one patient. and yet they wouldn't pay us. yet now they will be paying me, but much much more than i was actually asking for when i was there. penny wise and pound foolish.
politicians!!! you've gotta love them.