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Old 28.04.2020, 11:54
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Make yourself heard in hospitals if you wait for too long

As many of you, I already had the experience of waiting for a very long time at the urgency of a hospital to be seen by a doctor.
For example, my wife that was 8 months pregnant had a dizziness episode that we did not know what it was, and she waited on a hospital bench during 4 hours to be seen by a doctor. At one point, we left and went home because she was getting worse sitting down due to her condition.



Now a friend of mine that started to work as a doctor here in Switzerland and explained to me the reality at the hospitals.



Basically in a time frame of 3 hours he can take care of 20 patients while he has colleagues that take care of 1 single patient during the same time, which is not normal for an urgency service. He already tried to expose this reality of lack of performance from his work colleagues but he was threatened by his hospital managers to stop doing these kind of denunciations.



There are some cases of children with broken bones that have to wait for hours as well to be seen by someone and nobody cares. The patients dont complain and even if you complain it will be worse.



There is a clear lack of performance within hospitals here in Switzerland. There is no regulation, no control or performance evaluations.


I really dont agree clapping every day, cheering the medical staff here in Switzerland during the Coronavirus crisis. I would cheer Italian doctors in Italy, Spanish doctors in Spain and people that work in Coop, Migros etc that are really risking their lives everyday to serve us.

Doctors here in Switzerland are not taking any risks and dont deserve this praise.
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Old 28.04.2020, 12:03
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Re: Make yourself heard in hospitals if you wait for too long

OP, sorry to hear you had this experience.

The Spital in Kanton Zug has always been amazing for us, albeit we've never needed critical emergency treatment - their doctors, nurses, and support staff have on multiple times been supportive and attentive. For the couple of times we've needed same day help from their onsite GP's - we got to meet doctors within 10 minutes of arriving without appointments.

One of my neighbors is a nurse within Kanton Zug, and another neighbour is a doctor within Kanton Lucerne - both have historically talked about working in high performance environments, so maybe each hospital and/or specialist area within each hospital do actually run differently?

That said, I've heard questionable things about the hospital in Kanton Schwyz - but I've never experienced any treatments there.

Congrats on your pending family addition...

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Old 28.04.2020, 12:39
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Re: Make yourself heard in hospitals if you wait for too long

You have other options than going to Emergency when pregnant for a mild concern.

You could phone your obstetrician or midwife.
You could phone your general practitioner ('hausartzt')
You could phone the emergency number at the hospital that is recommended to you (usually this is a paying service where you get a qualified person on the phone who can talk you through and decide whether you need to go directly to emergency).
You could use a walk-in clinic ('Permanence').

And did you actually advise the staff before 'walking out' ?? - even though you were 'waiting' someone would have spoken to you on arrival and 'triaged' you - that means they made an assessment based on her symptoms and what you have said, whether she needs to see someone urgently. but she was still being 'observed' in the waiting room by staff... if she had fainted then they would have stepped in if needed.

I'm not disagreeing that emergency is a strange place where advocating for yourself is a good idea. But clearly, as you went home without being seen, it was not 'urgent enough'...

Did they suggest she drink water or did they take her blood pressure at the hospital ?

It's not like in the movies. A broken bone may simply not be an emergency... ahead of someone who has breathing problems, life-threatening bleeding, is in a coma, has a heart attack etc.

I suggest, as you are preparing for probably what is your first child, that you become aware of the non-emergency options you have for medical advice for adults and for children:

- paediatrician
- out of hours referral service
- drop-in medical clinics
- 24 hour doctors on call
- phone number for your local hospital emergency units

And especially right now. Everyone is being asked not to go to hospital at all without phoning first. I can call my doctor and either the nurse/receptionist or doctor will speak to me on the phone, call me back, or there is a recorded message that tells me what alternative phoneline to use.
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Old 28.04.2020, 13:14
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Re: Make yourself heard in hospitals if you wait for too long

Bluntly said, a hospital is the place were you go when they have to cut you open, put you back together, it becomes bloody, or you need special machines. Or in other words the place of last resorts in case of a life threatening situation.

For anything else there a plenty of doctors outside of the hospital system which can help you faster and or even better. There are even doctors doing off hour and weekend rotations. If you call your GP off-hours the answer machine should tell you who is providing off-hour service.

See also your cantons or communes website for the general off-hour telephone number for non vital emergencies. In canton Vaud it is 0848 133 133 https://www.urgences-sante.ch/ (See website for number for NE, and also the special pediatric telephone numbers).

Still, do not hesitate to go directly to the hospital in any life threatening situation or to call 144. Nevertheless, call the hospitals ER if you have to go directly to the hospital. This can save valuable time in case they cannot help you for what ever strange reason such as important machine is out of order, they are overloaded with non emergency patients, or a needed specialist is in other hospital, etc.
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Old 28.04.2020, 13:24
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Re: Make yourself heard in hospitals if you wait for too long

I have similar experiences.


I have been to the emergency station in the hospital more than once. The last time was when I cut my finger - it was so bad that I even had to put a plaster over it. That was on a Saturday night. I went to the emergency (which was already quite full). Then they let me wait for 10 hours until all other patients were treated. By that time, not only my finger had healed already but I was also sober. A truly shocking experience.
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Old 28.04.2020, 13:31
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Re: Make yourself heard in hospitals if you wait for too long

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I have similar experiences.


I have been to the emergency station in the hospital more than once. The last time was when I cut my finger - it was so bad that I even had to put a plaster over it. That was on a Saturday night. I went to the emergency (which was already quite full). Then they let me wait for 10 hours until all other patients were treated. By that time, not only my finger had healed already but I was also sober. A truly shocking experience.
I hope our insurance bills will not reflect that.
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Old 28.04.2020, 14:22
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Re: Make yourself heard in hospitals if you wait for too long

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You have other options than going to Emergency when pregnant for a mild concern.

You could phone your obstetrician or midwife.
You could phone your general practitioner ('hausartzt')
You could phone the emergency number at the hospital that is recommended to you (usually this is a paying service where you get a qualified person on the phone who can talk you through and decide whether you need to go directly to emergency).
You could use a walk-in clinic ('Permanence').

Just to reply to your ignorant comments. My wife gave birth shortly after this episode due to a preeclampsia diagnosis. You are not a doctor neither am I. But due to the symptoms and her condition it was recommended that we went to the hospital. She remained at the hospital for 2 weeks after the birth of my son.
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Old 28.04.2020, 14:24
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Re: Make yourself heard in hospitals if you wait for too long

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Just to reply to your ignorant comments. My wife gave birth shortly after this episode due to a preeclampsia diagnosis. You are not a doctor neither am I. But due to the symptoms and her condition it was recommended that we went to the hospital. She remained at the hospital for 2 weeks after the birth of my son.
So we have a new members who made 4 postings in which all that is happening is complaining and calling out other members.

Well, it was fun having you no matter how short it will last...
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Old 28.04.2020, 14:40
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Re: Make yourself heard in hospitals if you wait for too long

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Just to reply to your ignorant comments. My wife gave birth shortly after this episode due to a preeclampsia diagnosis. You are not a doctor neither am I. But due to the symptoms and her condition it was recommended that we went to the hospital. She remained at the hospital for 2 weeks after the birth of my son.
I am really sorry that she had to go through this and can imagine it was terryfying and frustrating for you, too. Congrats on the baby, too! Is everything going ok, now?

Also, we try to not be too angry here at other members, it is more or less working, especially now in the crisis - let's not add to the tensions

Hope EF can help you in some way.
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Old 29.04.2020, 07:41
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Re: Make yourself heard in hospitals if you wait for too long

Sorry to hear you had a bad experience. I had the exact opposite.

A few weeks (months?) ago, a palm frond fell on my arm, causing some scratches. I disinfected it and ignored it. Queue a week later, back home in Zurich my arm is swollen and infected.

I goto a local doctor, who makes a small incision, cleans it and send me home. He asks me to return two days later, where he opts to send me to Zurich hospital.

From the moment that I walk into the hospital in Triemli, I never sat waiting for more then 5 minutes. Nurse to take blood, junior doctor, senior doctor, anesthesiologist, xray technician, all done within a half hour slot. I was truly stunned (for something that wasn't that serious - I had a few splinters embedded in my arm which got infected).


They were very apologetic that I had a wait a few hours (as I had eaten recently and couldn't be sedated), and left me with a sandwich (ok, this didn't taste good ) after I woke up.

Admittedly this was pre-COVID, so I guess they were a bit less stressed then...


This compared to London, where I had to ask for some gauze so I wouldn't bleed all over the CARPETTED waiting area in A&E after a motorbike accident... and a subsequent 8 hour wait.
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Old 29.04.2020, 09:57
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Re: Make yourself heard in hospitals if you wait for too long

I don't think you'll find Emergency intake in Swiss hospitals much different from that in other countries. When you come in you'll be quickly evaluated, usually by a nurse (triage). If it's a real emergency, life-threatening, you'll put on top of the list. Most other things, you'll just have to take your turn. If you turn up on a Friday or Saturday evening, that means waiting in line with the drunks who've walked into a lamp-post or similar.
I had a colleague who walked into one of these traffic posts that come up to block traffic in Lyon. He was taken by the pompiers to a hospital and waited 6 hours to be dealt with. He simply wasn't sufficiently injured to be given a priority.
I went to the CMC Nyon last Monday after an accident and was seen immediately, indeed I think I was the only patient there when I arrived. Hospital ERs really ought to be limited to life-threatening emergencies. You're almost always going to be better off looking for alternatives if it isn't an emergency, such as telemedecine, family doctor, permanence médical.
I doubt there's any country in the world where it will be different.
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Old 28.04.2020, 19:29
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Re: Make yourself heard in hospitals if you wait for too long

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Just to reply to your ignorant comments. My wife gave birth shortly after this episode due to a preeclampsia diagnosis. You are not a doctor neither am I. But due to the symptoms and her condition it was recommended that we went to the hospital. She remained at the hospital for 2 weeks after the birth of my son.
I'm not ignorant, I stand by my comments. That's why I asked whether they checked her blood pressure when doing the triage at the hospital, or were you just made to wait without any communication ? If they did not, I would put a complaint forward and send the hospital a letter describing what happened.

I'd be very curious to hear the rest of the story and how much time elapsed between "we left the hospital because we got annoyed after waiting 4 hours" and being properly diagnosed and being properly admitted to hospital ?

I have several friends who gave birth early due to pre-eclampsia. Typically it was diagnosed by blood pressure and urine tests at their regular checkup by their regular obstetrician or midwife.



And yes, one thing I have learnt from having a child with a life-threatening medical condition, you need to advocate for yourself with the health system and speak up/communicate/advocate for yourself or your family member - they won't do it for you...
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Old 28.04.2020, 20:10
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Re: Make yourself heard in hospitals if you wait for too long

I guess I've been fortunate to only have good experiences in the emergency room here in CH, in terms of waiting time; although in truth I've only been to the ER of one hospital here (Uster), which is quite small. I'm sure larger hospitals become much busier. And I think the problem is often a lack of available beds, which can make it difficult to prioritize patients sometimes.

However, my 'faith' in medical professionals only runs so deep. I had a heart attack 5 days after having a C-section, while staying in the "family center" next to the hospital, and the attending nurse refused to call an ambulance for 10 minutes as I was lying there writhing in pain, literally begging her to call one. (The hospital later called me to apologize, perhaps because they feared I might sue, I don't know). But my point is that just because someone is a doctor or medical professional, that doesn't always mean they're a good one.

I'm glad that your wife and baby are okay.
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Old 28.04.2020, 12:47
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Re: Make yourself heard in hospitals if you wait for too long

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As many of you, I already had the experience of waiting for a very long time at the urgency of a hospital to be seen by a doctor.
For example, my wife that was 8 months pregnant had a dizziness episode that we did not know what it was, and she waited on a hospital bench during 4 hours to be seen by a doctor. At one point, we left and went home because she was getting worse sitting down due to her condition.



Now a friend of mine that started to work as a doctor here in Switzerland and explained to me the reality at the hospitals.



Basically in a time frame of 3 hours he can take care of 20 patients while he has colleagues that take care of 1 single patient during the same time, which is not normal for an urgency service. He already tried to expose this reality of lack of performance from his work colleagues but he was threatened by his hospital managers to stop doing these kind of denunciations.



There are some cases of children with broken bones that have to wait for hours as well to be seen by someone and nobody cares. The patients dont complain and even if you complain it will be worse.



There is a clear lack of performance within hospitals here in Switzerland. There is no regulation, no control or performance evaluations.


I really dont agree clapping every day, cheering the medical staff here in Switzerland during the Coronavirus crisis. I would cheer Italian doctors in Italy, Spanish doctors in Spain and people that work in Coop, Migros etc that are really risking their lives everyday to serve us.

Doctors here in Switzerland are not taking any risks and dont deserve this praise.
There is always a responsible nurse in the emergency department who evaluates the degree of emergency of every incoming patient. If there are a lot of patients waiting, and your case is not considered as urgent as u might think, then yes, u will wait, potentially a lot.
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Old 28.04.2020, 13:27
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Re: Make yourself heard in hospitals if you wait for too long

EFers, relax I think the anecdote his pregnant wife and long wait at emergency was some time ago.

The current anecdote is about a doctor friend who witnessed a strong difference in performance among the personnel at emergency services.

In every team, there's always a team member that eventually thinks all others are just a lazy incompetents. Individualism is great if well managed, but people must always remember the importance of team work. From an armchair expert point of view, emergencies at hospitals look like team work: nurses, technicians, doctors, etc.

As a project manager I totally understand why the hospital management told OP's friend to stop. The team productivity of the emergency room was 21 patients over a period of time. One does not look at individual productivity/performance because individuals change and individuals are fragile. On 5 years the super productive doctor may work somewhere else due to personal decisions, so the manager has to plan for average performance. Individuals are fragile too: accidents, family problems, burnout and worst stuff happens all the time. Just because one day (or a whole month) an individual is super productive, a manager is not going to change the long term planing of staff. Any strong individualist should try once the shoes of a manager, their perspective will change

In our office we joke productivity is something you measure in robots or in software not in people, because it's real easy to measure in robots while people need a much more nuanced assessments of their pros and cons. I have been happily working on my current team for almost 3 years. We all have ups and downs. Some times I cover them, some times they cover me.
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Old 28.04.2020, 13:53
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Re: Make yourself heard in hospitals if you wait for too long

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I think it really does depend on the hospital and the time of day you're in the emergency room.
Yes.

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... a strong difference in performance among the personnel at emergency services.

In every team, there's always a team member that eventually thinks all others are just a lazy incompetents. Individualism is great if well managed, .... the importance of team work. ....

I have been happily working on my current team for almost 3 years. We all have ups and downs. Some times I cover them, some times they cover me.
Yes.

I think that with any large institution, as a hospital is, the service provided is bound to be variable according to all sorts of factors. These may include which particular staff members are on duty, how many languages they find themselves needing to understand, how much sleep they've had, and the amount of professional attention they're willing to bring to the case. Most especially, the service one gets depends upon the particular combination, that day, the nature and intensity of the other emergencies happening at the same time, and the individual resources of each staff member within the team dynamic.

During the past decades, I think I've been to emergency intake in hospitals in Switzerland, for myself or when accompanying someone else, about 40 times.

Once, we had to insist that we were seen before the patient completed a long self-report questionnaire of symptoms (we were later told that had been part of a research project and as such voluntary).

Once, a young doctor was extremely condescending and even insulting. Even so, the emergency was been dealt with. As we were leaving, we saw a senior doctor gesturing with his head and eyes at the cheeky young doctor by whom we’d been seen, and hissing at the nurse: «Just make him go home. He’s exhausted and can be of no further use today. Tell him to sleep and to come back no sooner than 24 hours from now.»

In a third incident, a doctor caused unnecessary pain by not having listened to the information supplied by the patient. That doctor's behaviour was so poor, and so toxic, that it seemed better to get the patient Out Of There Immediately, because resting at home seemed safer, and later we called an emergency doctor who did a house-call.

The case I know with the longest waiting period lasted about an hour and a half, the patient in increasing pain. During that time, the hospital staff were literally running up and down, dividing their attention amongst others in very critical conditions, with doctors barking commands about life-saving procedures, and incoming patients being urgently wheeled off into surgery.
When the man fainted from pain, and slumped to the floor, a nurse appeared instantly, called for a bed, helped the man into it, and with tears in her eyes apologised that he had been kept waiting. She then did an initial assessment. The teamwork there was so strong that a doctor accepted an instruction from the nurse, to see this patient right away. As she examined him, she also apologised and explained that, unfortunately, due to the many emergencies just then, the man would have to wait, most likely another hour, during which he could not be given any painkillers because monitoring changes in the pain would be necessary for confirming her provisional diagnosis, but that if anything at all changed, the patient or I should ring for help. As soon as she could, the doctor returned. A proper examination was made, with diagnosis, treatment started, and admission.

In every other incident I can recall, the patient was seen by a bevy of industrious emergency nurses and doctors almost immediately when it was really necessary, or else within about half an hour. And the examinations, decisions taken, and the treatments started, were medically appropriate (if not always friendly). Occasionally, but not generally, someone has been really super-nice. Altogether, I find that a very positive balance. The negatives are relatively few, and most of the visits I've made to emergency wards in Switzerland (whether for myself or while accompanying someone else) rank, on a scale of 10, at least at 7 or 8, and sometimes even at 9 or 10.

There are always some horrible people who don't care and probably shouldn't even be working in caring professions. And there are always some who may otherwise be both competent and polite, but who're suffering from too little sleep or too much overwhelm from other patients they've seen. Apart from momentary blips, any staff member who is repeatedly lazy, or who consistently feels the need to assert how much better he/she is than the colleagues, or who is prepared to be rude to patients, is probably treating his/her colleagues destructively, too. A good leader can catch that kind of bad behaviour, and stop it before it harms patients, and at best, can try to turn it around to motivate rather than to erode the team.
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Old 28.04.2020, 13:46
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Re: Make yourself heard in hospitals if you wait for too long

I think it really does depend on the hospital and the time of day you're in the emergency room.

I've walked through Lucerne's hospital and seen a dozen people waiting in the emergency area. It was a bit shocking really.
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Old 28.04.2020, 13:53
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Re: Make yourself heard in hospitals if you wait for too long

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As many of you, I already had the experience of waiting for a very long time at the urgency of a hospital to be seen by a doctor.
For example, my wife that was 8 months pregnant had a dizziness episode that we did not know what it was, and she waited on a hospital bench during 4 hours to be seen by a doctor. At one point, we left and went home because she was getting worse sitting down due to her condition.



Now a friend of mine that started to work as a doctor here in Switzerland and explained to me the reality at the hospitals.



Basically in a time frame of 3 hours he can take care of 20 patients while he has colleagues that take care of 1 single patient during the same time, which is not normal for an urgency service. He already tried to expose this reality of lack of performance from his work colleagues but he was threatened by his hospital managers to stop doing these kind of denunciations.



There are some cases of children with broken bones that have to wait for hours as well to be seen by someone and nobody cares. The patients dont complain and even if you complain it will be worse.



There is a clear lack of performance within hospitals here in Switzerland. There is no regulation, no control or performance evaluations.


I really dont agree clapping every day, cheering the medical staff here in Switzerland during the Coronavirus crisis. I would cheer Italian doctors in Italy, Spanish doctors in Spain and people that work in Coop, Migros etc that are really risking their lives everyday to serve us.

Doctors here in Switzerland are not taking any risks and dont deserve this praise.
OP, this might be a place to be seen faster in the same town https://cmcnyon.ch/ , or there is one in Gland as well.
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Old 28.04.2020, 14:06
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Re: Make yourself heard in hospitals if you wait for too long

Back to emergencies....I was once in Zürich Universitätspital for an ear surgery. I spent the night before the surgery in the hospital. Getting full anesthesia fired up anxiety and couldn't sleep well. I listened to helicopter ambulance 2 times during the night. I could not stop myself from thinking what horrible situations caused 2 people to be taken with the helicopter during the night to the hospital.

My point is the attention of emergency services is divided between people that get taken to the hospital in an ambulance (4 wheels or helicopter) and people that walk into emergency. I'm not an expert at all, but if you can walk......it's not thaaaaat urgent.
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Old 28.04.2020, 14:14
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Re: Make yourself heard in hospitals if you wait for too long

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Back to emergencies....I was once in Zürich Universitätspital for an ear surgery. I spent the night before the surgery in the hospital. Getting full anesthesia fired up anxiety and couldn't sleep well. I listened to helicopter ambulance 2 times during the night. I could not stop myself from thinking what horrible situations caused 2 people to be taken with the helicopter during the night to the hospital.

My point is the attention of emergency services is divided between people that get taken to the hospital in an ambulance (4 wheels or helicopter) and people that walk into emergency. I'm not an expert at all, but if you can walk......it's not thaaaaat urgent.
This is changing in the Covid19 times. I know you were being funny, but a walking patient doesn't necessarily mean that he isn't in a critical state. The deteoration can also happen within a very short time.
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