20 July 2006

There will now be three of us sharing the office, which is good news.

The afternoon finds me attending a hospital appointment for a check-up and a blood test at Temple Street Children’s hospital in Dublin.

There is building work going on, and there are a few new wings since I was last there. There is an LCD television in the blood test waiting room and a ride-on tractor and car in the metabolic unit waiting room. There is even a machine to test my blood pressure, to save staff having to squeeze a little air pump, like they used to do.

The dieticians have almost become salespeople – telling me about new foods and drinks that are now available on prescription. There are even low protein ready meals available now, which understandably, I would have to pay for.

Looking at the hospital’s website, however, even they have to raise funds for various machines and equipment they require. This is something of a surprise to me, given that this is a major children’s hospital in one of the richest countries in the world.

I canonly imagine the conditions that a hospital in Basra has to cope with in comparison. How would the staff and patients of Temple Street cope in their situation?

I also wonder if they would in some way be prepared to help a far-away hospital with which they have something in common if only the basic fact that both are children’s hospitals?

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