Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Load up the Rubber Bullets

I'm malignantly amused by a recent incident regarding a Health Workers' strike. Normally, these things make me very angry: patients don't receive proper care in what are often literally cases of life and death.

I do understand that nurses are underpaid, and I'm not sure how such negotiations should be conducted, but indirectly killing patients seems a bit extreme. The worst cases occur when access to hospitals is blocked by the striking workers. Those willing to help patients can't get into the hospital, and sick people are prevented from getting into the building where they might (or might not) get attended to.

After a fiasco in 2008 that cost the lives of some babies and elderly folk, the police adopted a new policy: strike all you like, but at least don't block access to 'essential services' (Such as are still available).

During a recent picket, access to a hospital was deliberately blocked, so the police tried to clear the crowd. I'm not sure of the ins and outs, but rubber bullets and teargas were fired because things were getting out of hand. It didn't clear the access, but some strikers were injured and... ta-duh... (A fanfare for the really stupid) they couldn't get into the hospital to get treatment. What a wheeze!

I said it was a malignant sort of amusement, didn't I?

Today's pic: A preying mantis. Famed for devouring its husbands. Seems malignant enough to suit the mood? I'll have a go at being nice when I feel better.


  1. So, striking health-care workers help themselves by refusing to help those people they have dedicated their lives to help. Kind of a paradoxical calling isn't it? I am all for fair wages, adequate compensation, and the like, though I think I might consider myself malignantly amused as well.
    I have not personal experience with such a strike. I hope I would not fall to using a justification phrase like "we are all human," but they are "looking out for number one."

    Do you think nurses discuss health-care benefits in their negotiations with hospitals?

  2. I've been following some of this on the news. As an ex nurse, I can honestly say I'm astonished that anyone in need would be DENIED access to care BY HEALTH CARE WORKERS. Too bad they don't figure out some other way to triage their strike.
    Yep- count me in as malignantly amused too. Sure hope it gets resolved sooner than later. Who needs that kind of stress?

  3. Oh- and I love the preying mantis! Cool that we have them all the way over here too.

  4. I think they use the fact that a health care worker provides essential care as a weapon against them... if you strike you are a bad guy in the public's eye & if you don't you are continually screwed... same thing happens to police officers & firemen... that sucks that people were denied health care & it was wrong of the strikers to block access to the hospital but I blame the hospital for letting this situation escalate to this point... When nurses in Las Vegas went on strike they did it on their off time... I don't know what the resolution of their strike was but I'm sure the nurses are still underpaid & over worked

  5. That's a tough one because health care professionals should be paid adequately but I shouldn't die because I got ill also.

  6. To me, people who provide such necessary services such as health care workers, police and fire shouldn't be allowed to strike. Which may not seem fair, but when they do, they're putting people's lives at risk.

  7. Its a tricky question. I do sympathize with those who are underpaid and overworked.

    I think its ok to have the right to strike, but that it should be done in a responsible way.

    Karl - let's hope your nurses succeeded with their 'out of hours' strike. At least it brings attention to their plight!

    I have to agree with Andrew about 'Looking out for number one' but someone has to haven't they?

    Still, I doubt the injured workers were any too happy about having to nurse their own wounds - even though they were minor ones! Perhaps they'll be a little kinder to the sick next time around...

  8. The ambulance should run over them and then refuse to admit them to the hospital. Or you should be allowed to shoot them and if someone files a complaint the police should be required to say "We're on strike and not arresting right now."