Saturday, 22 October 2011

From Ireland: Haven't patients suffered enough?

... there has to be a happy medium and what I saw on Monday was a classic example of some killjoy, self-righteous administrator or someone in middle management -- and God knows, the Irish health service is top-heavy with middle management -- coming up with the bright idea to make the entire premises a smoke-free zone.  
It sounds fine in theory but they have forgotten just one thing -- the patients they are meant to be caring for.  
He admitted to me on one occasion that going for a smoke was the highlight of his day -- not for the hit of the tobacco but because for him and all the other long-term patients, going for a smoke was a social occasion, a chance to get out of the bed, get out of the ward and have a chat and a fag with some of the others and, to be honest, I could completely see where he was coming from. 
Because when my Da and his fellow incumbents met up for a smoke, they were no longer just patients with a numbered bracelet on their wrist, they were men again, individuals in their own right.

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