What is the worst word you can think of to describe an infuriating situation without using a swear word?
The Radiologist who inserted the radioactive spheres into my lungs would also like to ablate the metastases in my lung by Radio Frequency Ablation. It is not a difficult procedure and is performed by inserting a needle through the chest into the lung and into the tumour. A radio wave is then passed down the needle and the tumour is microwaved. That’s a very basic description of the process.
Ablation of the lung is tax-payer funded under the Public Health System in NZ unlike the SIRs procedure that had to be done as a private patient at considerable cost. What has to happen is that the referring Hospital Board (in this case, Nelson) has to transfer an appropriate amount from its budget to the Hospital Board that is performing the ablation (in this case, Otago) – even though it all comes out of the same national trough!
Sounds simple enough until you factor in bureaucrats. Nelson is prepared to transfer the funds but the Otago Hospital Board is evidently not prepared to accept the funds on the basis that they do not have enough staff to service the local patients, so why should they accept patients from another district? The Otago bureaucrats suggest that perhaps Wellington or Christchurch might perform the procedure. The trouble is that neither of those hospitals is able to do it. My Radiologist in Dunedin is the only one who can.
The alternative? I will have to return to Dunedin again and have the RFA on my lung done privately, once again at considerable expense. The Dunedin Public Hospital Oncologist told me that their profession is honour bound to treat every metastases they can find in a patient’s body, hence the desire to ablate the one I have in my lung. Unfortunately he and the Radiologist are hindered by politics within the system.
What was that favourite word for venting frustration?