October 29, 2009

hospitals vs health

Bit of a rant today…forgive me.

Surely I’m not the only one who thinks it’s a very bad thing the Victoria General Hospital’s water contains Legionella bacteria. Now, experts will tell you the Legionella exists is most large plumbing systems: hotels, nursing homes, cruise ships, apartment buildings etc.  This makes it right? Don’t you think you should be able to take a shower in the hospital, or have a drink from the tap? Not at the VG.  Oh, and what about the population of mice at there? A very reliable source tell me that, every winter,  sticky traps are set up under radiators to catch the critters as they race around. Nice. Oh,yes, mice can be spotted at the Halifax Shopping Centre, too, but one must assume that no critical health care is taking place there. Except for retail therapy, which long ago reached epidemic levels.

The Victoria General Hospital was built on its present site in 1948 – it’s 61  years old, almost 62. The Halifax Infirmary on Queen Street was open from 1933 to 1998 – was 65 years old when it was closed as a hospital. I can’t say why it was closed, but one can speculate that its age and condition contributed to the decision to close it. Isn’t the VG getting pretty close to or even beyond it’s best before date?

In the VG elevator one day, having reached and gone beyond my tolerance threshold, I commented about the shameful conditions of the hospital (even the elevator showed sign of decay – the emergency phone missing, and its wires hanging through the open place where a door hung from its hinges,  water stains, and dingy, dirty walls). A women to the rear, an employee,  responded defensively that I should not expect more. “After all this hospital is 60 years old” – great puffery and righteousness. 60 years old. The prosecution rests.

Hospitals ought to be safe. This hospital is sick.


One Response to “hospitals vs health”
  1. Jane Greening

    Great post and very scary. Time to update that old dowager. Jesus, rats and undrinkable water? Time for the health department to shut down a health department. Most informative and well written.