Wednesday, 29 November 2017
Close Encounter of the Medical Kind
I went to hospital yesterday. It was a routine visit to check that I still had a sense of humour. At the waiting-room I took a ticket with a number on it from the dispenser and waited for my number to appear on the big screen overhead. Meanwhile I read some of the newspapers lying around. Terrible news about that ship called the Titanic sinking. There was no mention of it on the TV News but there it was as a headline in the newspapers.
Eventually my number came up and I entered the doctor's insulting room.
As soon as he saw me he asked, "Are you a private patient who will pay for treatment or are you on the Government's Free Treatment Scheme?"
I asked, "What's the difference?"
He said, "If you're on the Government Scheme I am allowed to insult you and hurt you!"
"Oh ... In that case I am a private patient," I said.
"OK ... sit down fish face!" he replied.
I was upset by what he called me and I protested, "I thought you would not insult me if I am private!" I exclaimed.
"I am allowed to insult you," he replied, "because I don't like you."
"But how about doctors having a good bedside manner and being kind and caring and sympathetic?" I asked.
"Oh that's all phooey! Just nonsense to advertise the profession and attract new people to become doctors. In reality we doctors can do anything. From when we take the hypocritical oath we can miss-diagnose, give the wrong but more expensive treatment, or do unnecessary operations; and all our mistakes are buried six feet deep!"
I was astounded at his laissez-faire attitude, and he wasn't even French. I thought I'd better say nothing in case I made a faux-pas.
"What seems to be the problem fish face?" he asked.
"I feel a bit run down."
"I'm sure the police will catch the driver who ran you down," he said. "When did it happen?"
"Oh ... yesterday evening, a mile up the road from here," I told him.
"Did you have a good look at the car which ran you down?" he asked.
"No," I said, "But I can tell you exactly which tires he had. He left an imprint all over my shirt!"
"Are these the clothes you were wearing at the time?" he asked looking me up and down.
"Yes, why do you ask?"
"Because I have found a piece of cloth exactly like the shirt you are wearing caught in my front car bumper!" he declared.
"That's a coincidence," I said, "you must have driven past a few minutes after my accident and the torn cloth from my shirt got caught in your car!"
"Yes ... that's probably what happened. What did you do after the accident?"
"I went home and watched the football on TV," I told him.
On hearing this he put his hands on his ears and shouted, "say no more ... say no more ... I have recorded the game and I have not watched it yet!"
"What about me feeling run down? What shall I do?" I asked him.
"I suggest you got home and destroy the shirt you are wearing," he advised, "and all will be well."
I got up and thanked him, and as a special favour he reduced my private patient's bill which came to £126.