Step right up and visit the famous HORROR HOSPITAL of Constanța city! You’ll see BLOOD! You’ll see VIOLENCE and CRAZY ANGER! Experience the true feeling of a Romanian hospital!
No, it’s not actually a sort of an Amusement Park, it’s an actual Hospital! It’s called “Saint Andrew Emergency County Hospital”. It’s the municipal Hospital of Constanța city (population < 300.000 people) but it’s also the county Hospital ( > 400.000 people in different cities and communes). If there’s a big emergency…this is the only place nearest to you.
So…what’s wrong with it? Well, apart of having an exterior that looks like the Monster of Frankenstein of the Communist Era, this Hospital has a lack of…well…everything! A lot of Doctors left Romania a long time ago. Constanța has the same issue here. There are not enough doctors or nurses. The current personnel is bitter and tired. “Emergency” Hospital is a false title, because it can take an incredible long time to just get a bit checked out. So…what was I doing there a few nights ago? And also…why am I writing this in English?
First of all. I’m writing this in English because the Romanian people are tired of these stories. I really can’t say “oh my God, look at this!” and find a “warrior-like” reaction from the Romanian people. A lot of them are passive, a lot of them are weak, and most of them are tired. It’s not news to them.
Second of all: My experience from a few days ago. It started with my girlfriend’s grandmother. She is 91 years old. She’s still moving around the house and she’s mostly lucid all the time. In the last two days she got a little dizzy and confused. My girlfriend called the Ambulance and they arrived in a record 10 minutes (it usually takes more). They checked her and gave her a shot and took her to the Hospital for further medical care. We grabbed some water and a blanket and took a taxi to meet her there.
When you’re checking in this Hospital or when an Ambulance drives you here, you go to the information desk and give them your info and then you wait on a chair in a small waiting room that is usually full of people. The dominant word of this process is Triage. The sickest you are, the faster you get a bed. Sounds relatively right but when you don’t have doctors on call, you wait a long time. I mean a really long time.
Grandma was put on a wheelchair in the waiting room. There were a lot of people. A man of about 30 something years of age had a red face and a swollen stomach. He paced around the room for a few hours! He even god mad, throwing his ID card on the floor, because he had to wait so long. A security officer was calmly watching the scene. Another person was talking to a nurse at the info desk, saying that this is unacceptable. Apart from this situation, the people were relatively quiet, waiting for their turn. They got used to the system, they had no choice. They pay contributions to the Health System through a big percentage of their salary and this is what they get. I’ve paid that as well and I’ve never needed any of this sort of care. Thank God!
The waiting room was full, as I said. We were waiting there or like many other visitors we were going out for a smoke and some coffee. We smoked a whole pack during the night. That’s what a hospital waiting process does to you. Ironic. There were also some beggars inside, sleeping on some chairs. They didn’t need any special care, they were just sheltering themselves from the rain outside. A security guard cleared them out after a few hours, screaming at them.
Grandma got a bed. Sounds like a country song. Country songs have that bit of tragedy in them and this was the case as well. She was forced to get off the bed because an Ambulance just brought a man that was suffering a stroke. He was brought by Ambulance unconscious in a wheelchair. What a joke. He probably died. Grandma got another bed. The few people working that wing took some care, had a test. She had a very low heart rate, because of some pill that she was taking as treatment for her various conditions. She was given a saline solution and was left on the bed for more hours, because there was no doctor on call.
The personnel are overwhelmed but they developed an immunity when they are faced with tragedy or argument. They seem to not care, but they’re actually being like this to not go crazy themselves. They have nothing to work with. It’s not right. You want to blame them but you now you can’t. Wait, bathroom time. The boys bathroom had a door that wouldn’t close all the way through. Inside…
And this is a county Hospital I remind you! Wow! At least they had some sort of liquid soap. They don’t call it the Horror Hospital for nothing. Like I said, it was a quiet night still. I remembered being brought here many years ago, as I child. My stomach ached a lot. The waiting room was somewhere else, in a narrow place. People were screaming in pain, some were bloody, put to wait near me. It was shocking. A man was put in the waiting room, on a stretcher. He was dead. The family didn’t knew that then. Because of the lack of space, he was moved stretcher and all in some sort of a personnel only bathroom. It was terrible.
Hours past. We were tired and our feet swollen. We were now the people that needed some care. But…we waited, eyes red and all. For me it was the first time waiting so long in such a case. For my girlfriend it was nothing new. She took care of her grandma for a few years now. Damn she’s strong. She’s a beautiful person and a smart one. She doesn’t deserve this. But it’s her only relative in this city and her parents are gone. She suffers but she doesn’t complain much about it, she just gets in this robotic mode and does what she has to. Poor girl.
Late at night. Some people left, most were still waiting. I became to know all their faces and all their problems. One by one they would get a bed and some saline stuff in their veins. They were recovering fast after that. But they all still had to wait for some doctor. 2 am, 3 am. Time was moving slowly. A guy was handcuffed to a bed inside. I saw him through a window while smoking outside. After some care, some security guards set him free, yelling at him like a dog. Weird stuff. At 3 am some four policemen came. They waited as well for like an hour and left. At 4 am two young policemen (looking like hipsters actually) brought a man that was a bit drunk and banged up. They sat him on a chair next to me and my girl. He said he was drinking alone and fell. He had two bloody points on his head and his arm was a bit cut. Probably from a fight with a drinking buddy. After some interrogation on the spot, the policemen left and also left him in the silence of the waiting room, now almost empty. A street person was sleeping on a chair. Another one, being evicted from there, came back and slept on another chair. The guard didn’t say anything to him this time. Two parents were tired, waiting on their son that was getting treatment. He was feeling ill, and had some dust on his elegant jacket. Probably fell. 6 am. The replacement nurses were arriving. 7 am. Most of the people that came in the Emergency Room about 9 hours ago, were now being discharged. They had to wait some more for the paper work.
10 hours of waiting. Grandma was discharged. She was feeling better. They didn’t do much but they did it well. For this, we had to wait so long. They could’ve done this in 1 or 2 hours but because of the lack of personnel and because of the faulty machines, we had to spend the whole night there. It was morning, raining like Hell. We took a taxi. We left grandma it her bed, made her some tea and food and went back to my place. We slept deeply. My girlfriend got up after a few hours of sleep and went to work. We are both sick with the cold today, all starting from that damn night. Hospitals in Romania make you sick. That’s what everyone will tell you if you ask them.
The newest scandal in our hospitals reffers to a cleaning product called Hexi Pharma. It’s something found in many hospitals in Romania and it’s a faulty product. People are saying the system is trying to cover up some lucrative deals. Yesterday evening some 400 people protested on the streets of Bucharest, the capital of Romania. The Prime Minister said that he would put the Health Issues in Romania on the top of the list of problems that need to be dealt with nationally. Nobody really trusts politicians here. Meanwhile, yesterday still, a football player collapsed on the field. He was young, eventually died because of a heart attack. Here again we see the lack of care in Romania. Help got to him in about 3 minutes and the Ambulance didn’t have a defibrillator. Such a shame and such corruption.
Yet we don’t take the streets with these issues. The people are passive or scared. “Hey, I have work in the morning” is what one would say. In France, people are taking the streets just from some minor modification to the Education system. Here we’re dying daily because of the corruption that sells this country piece by piece. All that I’ve written here applies to Education, Security, Work and all aspects of a society. How do we do it? How do we survive? How indeed.