Cases in point - when my kids wheezed with asthma, they were seen immediately. When my son's ear got ripped in rugby, care was quick and caring. When I lost my sight at the start of a MS flare-up, I was totally mothered. And now that they've found that my knees are destroyed, I'm in relatively quickly to get them fixed. Things still seem to be flowing as they should.
But I'm seeing the changes as I get ready for this knee surgery. Patients are grouped together in rooms now without concern for gender. The hospitals are running at too high a capacity for such niceties as unisex rooms.
I'm asked to bring all my drugs in with me. Presumably they will simply give me my own drugs rather than ordering them for my time in hospital from the pharmacy. I will be bringing in everything I need for my stay, including clothing and whatever.
There are signs everywhere telling me that as a patient, I have the right to ask people to wash their hands before touching me. I find this sad, as it speaks of nurses and docs running flat out and exhausted.
There's no guarantee of in-hospital rehab follow-up care - I will likely get physio twice a week - in the community - if that. Home care nurses are scarce as hen's teeth, and my bed is going to be barely cooled before they fill it again. My son has experiences of "warm bedding" it on the navy ships - I didn't realize this was the case in hospitals now...
Ah, I remember the good old days, when I had the time to rub a patient's back before bed and make them all nice and cozy. Now I'm going to be managing my own pain meds, up and about before my legs figure out they've been traumatized,
I don't think this is necessarily a bad thing. And I foolishly have confidence that if I need services, the system will step up and meet that need, as well as it can. But I'm expecting a Chevvy service, not a Cadillac one.
Mind you, I've never liked Cadillacs. Nah, I lie. I like luxury as much as anyone. But I am still in the category of preferring to have everyone receive care according to need, not according to ability to pay. So I'm not complaining. Um, yet....
Let's hope my wild knee ride meets my needs... (note: photo below is not of my hospital)