Saturday, July 01, 2006

Austringer's Complaint

My thanks to Austringer for today's subject - internet access in hospital.
He took his computer into hospital two years ago, and was not allowed to plug it in to either the mains or the phone line. I've left a comment explaining that Health and Safety regulations take priority, so electrical equipment needs to be tested before it's plugged in to prevent the risk of fire.
Most hospitals were built before the internet revolution. A lot were built before computers were invented. A few were built before there was even electricity. So internet access was not high on their list of priorities when construction took place. It's different with the new PFI hospitals, where there's a phone line at every bedside, where patients can be charged a fortune to phone, watch TV, and, presumably, access the internet at several pounds per hour.
Hospitals are boring. (Well not if you work there. In fact they sometimes get too exciting at times.) The long hours between meals and medicine rounds can drag interminably (I am not speaking from personal experience). Being able to blog, or generally wade around the internet seems to me to be a therapeutic way of convalescing. But not if you are aware of the ticking meter racking up the ££££.
Maybe something can be done to make computer access easier and cheaper for patients, after all, most people pay a flat rate for internet access, why shouldn't it be the same for patients?

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