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Pacific Islands

Editorial: Three hour wait for three minute check

Thursday 24 October 2019 | Written by Anneka Brown | Published in Editorials


Is it just me? Or have you also waited over two hours at the Rarotonga Hospital to see a doctor?

I went to the hospital at 8.30am with an irritated and swollen eye. I thought I might as well try and get some eye drops and antihistamines before it could get any worse.

I was surprised when I arrived, it was early in the morning but the hospital waiting area was full of people.

There were more than 20 people waiting patiently to see the doctor, some had the flu, some had injuries and some were going for a check-up or to pick up medication.

There were mothers nursing their children while they waited over an hour just to see the triage nurse.

Some people were falling asleep in their seats, and so was I. By the time I saw the triage nurse, it was 10.30.

One small child waited with her mother almost as long as I did and she was at the hospital to get an asthma pump.

I stayed at the hospital almost the entire morning before I finally saw the doctor.

Dr Moe was very helpful and his examination took less than three minutes and it only took two minutes to collect my eye drops. So why was the initial wait so long?

It was painfully uncomfortable sitting and waiting for over three hours and the TVs on the wall had no volume either.

Why does it take half the day to see a doctor at the hospital? Does the hospital have enough doctors?

Although I know if anyone needed immediate help, the doctors and nurses would be able to jump into action and I’m thankful for good and hard-working doctors like Dr Moe.

However, it seems like a challenge for them to get through a large amount of people visiting the hospital every morning.