If anyone wanted to examine the impact of migrants on New Zealand, fall over, break a leg and head to your nearest public hospital (or maybe just ask for a tour).
We had the unfortunate (yet strangely fortunate) need to visit one of New Zealand’s public healthcare institutions recently (in fact I am sitting here now). Our very young daughter had lost some weight so as a precaution our local doctor decided we should see a pediatrician just to be on the safe side. Our doctor incidentally is eastern European, although I couldn’t tell you exactly which part.
We hurried (at break neck speeds) to the hospital as new parents do and were seen to fairly swiftly. After a short wait in the triage area it was off to the specialist childcare unit, to wait in our own cubicle. A variety of staff checked in on us regularly and I am pretty sure a few of the nurses only popped in to visit our baby girl. The service was exceptional but that is the topic of another post.
The real point of this story is how diverse our medical system is in terms of the nationalities and cultures that make up the nursing, surgical and medical consulting staff. As I mentioned our doctor is eastern European and the nursing staff at our local medical clinic are a mixture of English, Kiwi, South African and Australian. I am sure that Kiwis were outnumbered about 8 to 1.
The hospital triage centre was no different. The admin clerk was a rather robust Irish woman or perhaps Scottish or possibly even Norwegian who called a spade a spade and anyone stepping out of the orderly line would most likely have needed to be raced through to emergency anyway once she had finished with them.
Our pediatrician was a tricky one to work out. Not a local but not from far flung shores either. Softly spoken and very precise I heard a vague hint of either American or possibly and Australian accent that may have been worn off from years of ‘fush and chups’ slang.
We had two nurses attend to our little girls various tests (yet another post topic), one was from the Philippines and the other from Singapore. Carmen an Susan were their names and they treated our little one as if she were their own. Mum was brave and dad didn’t quite know what to do. Watching someone extract 40mml of blood from your three month old child extract a range of emotions none of which are good for your blood pressure!
There was another nurse who we shall call ‘Bob’ who had more advice for us than all the parenting books on Amazon. He was well intentioned though and he obviously had a lot
of passion for his job. Funnily enough the one guy that talked the backside off a donkey was of course Kiwi.
So there you have it. The New Zealand healthcare system is a double layer assorted box of people from all over the globe. A system that runs pretty efficiently compared to most countries and where no one cares about the color of your skin so long as the bones get mended and the scars heal.
The world could learn a lot from hospitals in New Zealand. When you have a system that needs skills and that system provides a service that can save a life, ethnicity, color, religion and other identifiers are non existent. It’s a wonderful mix of people who in other circumstances might be flinging grenades at each working in perfect harmony.
Needless to say our little girl is fine and I felt ever so slightly more assured that we live in one of the best countries in the world.