OK – so we have all heard stories about Soviet-style hospitals – how they are grey and foreboding and there are 4 people lying ill in one room. Well, I have been there (briefly) and can report back – it’s all true. A friend of mine, Sasha, had to go in to hospital for some minor surgery, so prior to West Ham pulling their socks up and beating Manchester United I thought I’d pop in, take some grapes – that type of thing.
He, fortunately was in a “private room”, which is the same as all the others (complete with 4 beds but he was allowed sole occupancy and the room had access to a bathroom rather than the communal block shared by others. Even so, it was grim. Clean (ish) but grim. Sasha was bearing up and like most people in intense pain was just happy to be looked after. As usual with Ukraine it is the infrastructure which lets it down – the care he was having was fine but the hospital was on par with Kievs roads.
As I left I walked past a man with what we would call “severe head trauma” trailing bandages right out of Michael Jacksons Thriller video. In the west he would be walking in to the hospital but he was on his way out – I followed quickly.
Memo to self – look at the private healthcare card in my wallet and have the phone number tattooed on my arm.