Goodbye Mary, hello Matilda!

Queen Mary has been scrapped. Enter Matilda (hospital). For the first time I have experienced private health care, and I can’t deny being impressed. Shame that only such a slitherous fraction of the world’s people enjoy such luxury in sickness. In my friend’s case, she paid for the right insurance company. 

The trouble with QMH is that it’s simply over-stretched. She ended up in a crowded ward full of elderly patients choking like trout on land or tied to their bed as they tried to stroke people, with harassed-looking nurses and a doctor reluctant to part with any information at all. The final straw was that she didn’t have a proper bed. But the insurance company paid to transfer up a class. Public to private. Plebs to Posh. And with the choice, and her health at stake (still very unwell, no sign of diagnosis), there was no hesitation. 

Matilda feels like a retreat for the rich and decadent. The corridors have that countryhouse feel about them, the wards like a classy hotel. And the view is the staggering. Yup I never thought my first visit to the Peak (one of top Hong Kong tourist destinations) would be three months after arriving here, for a hospital! From her dorm the hills of HK fall away below, green and sculptured, with an elastic jumble of coast and islets, everything scattered with white gleaming skyscrapers and sticky-boats below. Birds of prey glide past just metres away. It’s a bit like one of those paintings in fantasy books, which you can fall into and get transported to a different world.

My poor friend is not at all well, and tonight is her third night in hospital. They were meant to go back tomorrow, but flights have been changed. And now I’m getting slightly ill too. Not nearly as bad of course – or I wouldn’t be typing this – just a raised temp and one of those rasp-cough-throats. My neighbour heard the hacking I’m-going-to-die noises and has kindly leant me her entire collection of chinese medicine, in particular, 潘高寿 pan gao shou!


Lack of camera meant I downloaded random image of tinternet

Lack of camera meant I downloaded random image of tinternet

Let’s hope it helps. And that much sicker friend is well again soon. At least here she can get 5-star treatment unavailable to the residents of Yunnan, as well as 6 matching disney paper-clips which I got free from 7/11, and have attached to her bedroom curtain.

Update: and many thanks for awesome Dutch Tatelog throat sweets too!!


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