I thought it was only in Britain that collective madness had taken hold on a national scale... not a bit of it! Sadly, Australia, normally a haven of common sense, appears to have fallen under this new form of madness.
Kevin Park, an 87-year-old war veteran, was admitted recently to Lismore Base Hospital, New South Wales, with a lung complaint. Unfortunately the alarm system used by patients to summon nurses was faulty and despite his best efforts he couldn't summon help when he took a turn for the worse. Staff knew the alarm system wasn't working and had resorted to issuing patients with handbells instead.
Kevin eventually gave up after 45 minutes and used his mobile to phone 000 (Australia's answer to 999) and summon help. A bit of a drastic step but it worked. When the nurse arrived, she didn't apologise but instead confiscated Kevin's mobile phone before returning it a little while later minus the SIM card and battery. That's what I call a bedside manner.
"I didn't know what was going on. It hadn't happened to me before and I wasn't even sure whether it was blood or sweat," Kevin said from his hospital bed. "Desperate people do desperate things. In the end I rang the emergency telephone number to ask them to get me out of here and somewhere where I would get some attention."
"Taking my phone was, to me, the biggest offence," Mr Park said."To me it's thieving. You can't ring out on the phones they have here so that mobile phone was my only access to the outside world."
A North Coast Area Health Service spokeswoman said staff took Mr Park's phone to prevent other patients being disturbed in the middle of the night. "NCAHS has apologised for any distress that may have been caused to Mr Park and his family," she said.
Don't you just love the way health authorities around the world employ such weasels to deliver their pathetic excuses?