Stupid gets even
We received a response from our friends at Tuen Mun Hospital. Remember the original letter referred all the members of the hospital board to out little piece. Guess what they did. Go on guess.
They sent a response that…. well here is its:
We refer to Hospital Authority Head Office pertaining to your e-mail dated 3 MAY 2013.
To facilitate us to proceed further investigation of the case, I should be grateful if you would provide us with more information so that we could investigate into the incident:
i) your HKID number; and
ii) your phone number.
Should you have any enquiries, please do not hesitate to contact Patient Relations Centre at 2468 5422.
Tuen Mun Hospital
Patient Relations Centre
What kind of conniving, avoiding chicken **** idiots passed this on to Patient Relations?
Patient relations HAVE CLEARLY NOT READ THE REPORT nor have they asked a grown up to read it to them!
Well let’s see if you understand this little Miss Noname Patient relations.
Your management are serving food to your patients that is not fit for animals. OK? Understand? Our ID or phone number have NOTHING WHATSOEVER to do with it.
The hospital board and the board of HK HA must sort this out. Not me, not ANY patient, past, present or future! Do you bloody well understand?
What ‘incident’ are they going to investigate further?
We know that our letter has been read by those at Tuen Mun Hospital. In time honoured Hong Kong fashion they have chosen not to comment.
We make absolutely no apologies whatsoever for the next part of this report. The names of the Tuen Mun Hospital Board and of the HKHA board will be found at the end of the article. And, to make it worse,
April 30: HK Government reported a surplus of HK$64.8 billion!
The first evidence m’lud, is a dish of cold cabbage awash in cool water Taste? What can you do with cabbage? It tasted of cabbage….cold, limp, old cabbage.
Dear reader, wherever you may be, there is no readily available option. The men who were fed this were, in the most part, unable to voice their opinions. They were old. They might have been the fathers of the fat, selfish board members who think their responsibility is solely to smile at cameras and look important. But, it gets worse.
Next, on the day after a student nurse asked out of interest (or instruction?) Will you be posting the pictures on your blog?
On that day the vegetable was choi. Looks OK? except that it was for the most part swimming in water and stone cold.
The patients are the men who unloaded ships at Jordan docks, who drove the buses, who built the roads that makes Hong Kong the success it is today.
I photographed two meat dishes. The first I present here with the simple question, wherever you live would you eat it? And if you knew your father was fed this as his lunch what would you do? No answers from the board.
The second is so disgusting that I can hardly bring myself to post it. But it must be posted for the sake of those patients I left behind who even as I write this, will be given a tray of swill not dissimilar. And this is posted full size.
So who is responsible for this shameul treatment of our elderly?
As in all organisations the buck must stop at the top and the poor, emaciated individual is (according to the HKHA website), a certain Mr. Anthony T.Y. Wu.
Here he is. Don’t you feel so sorry for him?
And here are the names of the Tuen Mun Hospital Board in both English and Chinese:
Chairman Mr Yu Shiu Tin, Paul
Prof Chan Cheung Ming, Alfred
Mr Chan Fu Keung, William
Mr Ku Moon Lun
Mr LEE Hung-sham, Lothar
Mr Pong Chong, Edward
Ms Yan How Yee, Lina
Mr Yeung Sau Ming, Boris
Mr Yip Wing Tong, Charlie
NOTE: Information regarding the individuals who SHOULD be addressing this Hong Kong shame have been cut and pasted from the HKHA website and the Tuen Mun Hospital Board website. Neither I, nor anyone associated with this blog, accept any responsibility for any mistaken information. As usual we will publish ANYTHING sent in defence and reserve the right to make further comment. We will also delete this part of the blog if anyone can show it to be untrue.
Now in their defence it might be said that they were unaware of the situation. Well when I was young my boss would NOT have accepted that. He would have cornered me and told me in no uncertain terms, ‘Well, you SHOULD have known. Why do we pay you if you don’t know what is going on?’
I suggest, but have no hard evidence to support it that the contract for ward catering has been let to the lowest bidder who, as in all cases in Hong Kong, is not going to reduce his margin – he’s going to make his money and the product will suffer. So the tender department should also bear responsibility. If these people honestly think that this ‘swill’ is fit for sick patients, here is a challenge, ‘I will share either one of these lunches with you in public.’
There is a dietician at TMH. She admitted to having very little influence on the quality of the food served.
Once again, we have been waiting for a response since Monday 29 April. That is long enough for anyone, Hong Kong people are so ‘busy’!
A letter with photographic evidence has been sent to each member of the Tuen Mun Hospital Board. We know, don’t we, that they will do everything in their power to avoid an answer. That’s OK because this evidence is so damning that it will be passed to the Hospital Authority if we do not get a response by tomorrow.
Anyway, to nicer things. Life on the ward continues.
”THEY DON’T BRING THEM HERE.”
Do the people at the top know what conditions they are imposing on the good people of Tuen Mun?
‘When a visitor comes, they prepare everything in advance. They never bring them here.’
Albert Ho? No.
So the hospital management closes their eyes to the problem? Yes.
And if they were to report the situation to the HA? (laugh) They would close their eyes? Of course.
And the government? Same.
And this morning the wailing of a disturbed patient with obvious (to a simpleton such as I) psychiatric problems prevents the curative slumber of the men whose youth built Hong Kong.
The staff charged with managing this discarded place are helpless. Everything I have written above is the result of extensive discussions with the people who keep sticking the crooked wheeel on. At first I was critical and ready to take pics of the five night shift staff ignoring the noise and it took quite a while to break down their defensive loyalty.
As one said, ‘We check with him at least every hour.’
I’s that according to policy?’, ‘Yes.’
‘And what about according to humanity?’ Blank.
‘And what about according to your heart?’ ‘We are very upset.’ And the eyes told of years of selfless devotion despite the total ‘couldn’t care less’ attitude of the authorities. I apologised for a certain brusqueness brought about by frustration and went back to my bed. After all, I go home tomorrow. I have no need ever to concern myself again! No need. No need. I keep telling myself, there is no need. If I publish this blog what will happen? Will things change? Will people be victimised for speaking to me? or will it be ignored and denied so the comfortable lives of the ‘important’ people can continue.
It is 3am. Another peaceful night in Tuen Mun hospital. In a distant ward a long, low plaintiff cry goes unanswered. I am in an acute ward. In my humble and less than expert opinion, I should not be. To all intents and purposes I am as right as rain and require only 20 minutes of anti-biotic infusion per day. I suggested to my doctor that my bed should be made available to a more deserving case. She can do nothing, for at this hospital, once diagnosed as ‘acute’ and assigned a bed, you stay until you are fit for discharge or zipped up in a black bag!
Last night the ward, with facilities for four people contained six and I had to turn sideways to get to bed. Not just because there were six beds but because, as is so common, beds are moved hither and thither as great JCB looking X-ray monsters prowl or visitors disrupt things.
The Hobbit left this evening. I went with my family to the second floor canteen area (Maxim’s Restaurant) to eat what my wife had prepared for my dinner (sometimes the distress and the pungency of the ward make food consumption a little difficult and when I got back he had gone. Not a trace left behind. I miss his cough which appeared to come from someone several times his size and I miss his occasional lucidity. He was not completely aware of his circumstances but with ‘thumbs ups’ and smiles we connected and he smiled, a funny child-like smile and once he said ‘Ni hao’.
It is 5.15 am and I am eating chocolate and it seems the right thing to do.
Jim’s family are beautiful, caring people. Jim is the youngest brother of the lady who is always here.
The family was informed several days ago, to prepare for the worst. They came confused, hand holding, clasping upon anything of his. Mother uncontrollable. Father stolid but torn apart inside. All day they stood their vigil before exhaustion forced them home. The next day they returned – and sobbed.
The next day, too, but despair had now turned to a reluctant acceptance and even, dare I say it, hope.
His sister met my smile with ‘He’s not ready to go yet.’
Everyday they come in, the end is inevitable, but now they come to celebrate his life, not as preparation for his passing.
The acute ward is, by its name and nature, made of transient relationships. Four days ago Beany, the name I gave him, died at 3.20 am. Yesterday and today the frail and swaddled form of a young man has been the subject of great settlings of medical staff and sobbing, heaving groups of relatives. Several patients have gone home. Fat Clock went yesterday as did Bull. Lil Joe left us on Sunday. He was a little man, in every respect, no visitors had he nor none did he expect, but he was ‘our’ house guest, he shone peace and trust of others around him. We bought him grapes and I don’t think anyone had ever given him a moments thought in any of life’s twists and turns. He put on his Chinese grey blouse/jacket and left.
Following the death of Beany preparations were made for the bed’s next occupant. He walked in – an unusual entry – a short, very round man, almost like a child’s snowman. A big ball as his body and a much smaller one for his head.
His name was ‘Clock’ and his conversational tone was like hundreds of small explosions timed like Chinese Crackers each to follow the one before. His job, calling or profession clung to his clothes assailing those about him with a constant olefactory reminder of his undoubted presence.
In my hurry through Kowloon Tong I bought this ham and cheese croissant from Pacific Coffee. Now I’m not saying that my last (nearly) two weeks of near death experience was as a direct result of that, despite the fact that after eating 75% of it I was feeling that something did not taste quite right, but in my rush to the City Uni campus I looked for a bin, found nothing so bunged the whole lot in my mouth and ran. All of it. Swallow quickly, appointment two minutes!
Now I wouldn’t dream of suggesting that Pacific Coffee were not at least as hygienically diligent as any other open fronted, part time staffed temporary accommodated pavement food stall (except it is on the 3rd floor of Vegetable Walk, Kowloon.)
At approximately 2.15 the next morning I was sick. Loudly, violently, embarrassingly, gut wrenchingly sick and a few minutes later, the offending product still working its best, I was sick again. This time, and for the first time in my entire life I blacked out and awoke or rather came too, in a heap on the bedroom floor with my wife screaming. Half an hour later it happened again, this time I fell forward so my well proportioned nose was knocked out of shape and I came to in a pool of blood extending in volume as fast as any tap might have spread water. Once more for those who hadn’t seen it the first time I blacked out and again I came too in a pool of blood.
It was morning and the ambulance was called. Wife asked ‘private or public’, I said ‘hospital’. The ambulance took me to the TMH (which quite surprisingly does not stand for Tuen Mun Holiday resort and spa. In A & E I threw up and blacked out again and when I came round all sorts of people were running around and porcupining me with drips and injections.
But it wasn’t the Croissant (legal statement since, at this point, there was no longer any evidence).
For four or five days I mostly slept, awaking periodically to notice a change in the lighting or someone sticking holes into me of pulling stuff out of me.
Why is this part of the blog of a moany old bugger?
Patience dear reader. For here are some vignettes and the odd bit of vitriol that might perk things up a bit.
First let me say unequivically that the staff of Ward XX at Tuen Mun Hospital are, to a man or lady, the most caring, careful and efficient people in the whole world. Not one ounce of criticism can be genuinely levelled against them.
Various people came and went, six beds in a room for four wasn’t ideal, but when you are really ill you frankly don’t give a damn.
As I got a little better I took a little interest in the food. (As one of the most fortunate individuals on the planet, I have a wife who brought me beautiful food from our own kitchen.)
After two days of semi-consciousness with tubes leading skyward from both wrists I began to take stock of my situation. Two extremely aged gentlemen were moved out and two new gents moved in.
The glucose drip gave be sustainance but left my mouth dry. I wanted to look about me so I asked a passing angel to ‘wind me up’. [Pause for joke: Will you wind me up please? Certainly. You are going home tomorrow. Really? no, it was just a wind up! —Waddya want? Peter Kaye?]
So I lay rather like a half full bag of taters casually placed against the barn door. And I looked about me. I decided to give them all names and so by the door was Lil Joe and he was next to a dapper, square headed Indonesian who I called Herman. Next came a large round faced, barrel chested, bald gentleman who could have only been called Bull. So there was Lil Joe, Herman, Bull and Beany. Beany had a perfectly spherical head and round owl specs. He could only have been an accountant or bean counter. I had spoken to none of them.
At exactly 3:20 am I flickered open an eye and saw a nurse shaking Beany and calling his name. Within seconds (I kid you not) staff were at well rehearsed positions. The Two Stripe ward manager was kneeling astride Beany pumping his chest, He was relieved occasionally be another Two Stripe or One Stripe. At exactly 4:15am, they accepted defeat. Beany’s family had arrived and were sobbing outside. I looked at the Two Stripe and asked with my eyes. He shook his head and this hairy-arsed, ex miner and major equipment salesman let out a cry of despair. I couldn’t help it. And, despite never having spoken to Beany, I sobbed like a child and, even now, find myself welling up at the memory. The family came to Beany’s bedside and, clawing at clothes and limbs to try to shake life into their husband and father sobbed until there can have been no tears left in all the world. And then I heard the long, long zip being pulled slowly around the body and the screens were pulled around and the body was wheeled away on a low gurney.
The next part of this will be sent to the various bodies and organisations for their comments. Of course they will not comment in which case the scandal will wing its way round Hong Kong, Oceana, Europe and the Americas. (Hello new readers in South America)