Majuro Medical

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Patients attached to every kind of tube are wheeled freely through the piles of people in the waiting room. Its lunch time at the hospital. Lunch is a strange phenomenom. The doctors drag a table into the overly crowded waiting room, sit down and proceed to eat infront of all the patients waiting to be seen. Lunch here last one hour, when I say one hour I use that term very loosly. One hour could lead to the rest of the afternoon.

The doctors finish lunch when they are ready, they eat at a leisurley pace and then give the food time to settle, before they search for the much needed motivation to go back to work. Some Doctors just cant find that inner strength and call it a day by putting a sign on the door saying “closed, Emergency only”. This however doesnt bother the patients they simply hop up and leave.

The atmosphere in the waiting room is unlike anything I have ever seen. The patients all laugh and giggle and pass there phones around the room sharing the “funniness”, complete strangers all making friends and making the most of their new company. There is no animosity, nobody gets grumpy and starts yelling abuse at the staff, nobody even shows any sign of irritation. These people have been waiting for up to 3 hours and yet are so patient. The fits of laughter are only dimmed when a patient is wheeled from a ward to the operating thetre, they are wheeled right through the centre of the waiting room and for a moment the people waiting are reminded that they are in a hospital.

I watched as ptients rotated between standing and sitting allowing everybody an opportunity to take a seat, biscuits were passed around until they ran out, when some one would dissapear and then return with another tray. I did find this somewhat funny since half the waiting room was for the diabetes doctor.

Finally after 2 hours the blood centre re-opened. Being a tourist I was served ahead of the other 16 patients, I waited patiently until finally being told “it was with great regret that they wish to inform me, Beany’s results had been misplaced and they were unable to find them” This made me boil on the inside, I had sat around a hospital waiting room that had 48 seats and 74 patients for 2 hours for nothing. I managed a fake smile a “thank you” and then I gracefully stormed out, not even all the marshallese laughter could lighten my now horrid mood.

I went out the front hailed a taxi and high tailed it to the air condition restaurant I now sit in. Ahia exhausted from behaving like an angel, falling asleep on the restaurant floor. Our medical debarcles still unfinished, but atleast we are dealing with a hospital that has walls and corridors and proper designated wards

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