14 Aug 2009 Quote of Note: On Hospitals Overseas
“Because I have traveled a great deal in my life, often recklessly so, alone, and to weird places in search of answers to topographical questions of the ancient Mediterranean world, and first-hand observations about battles and campaigns in out of the way places for several books— I have ended up over the last 36 years in a number of socialist hospitals: E-coli poisoning in Athens from tainted strawberries; a cut tendon on my index finger from a barbed wire fence in Sparta (with reaction to live tetanus vaccination); a severed ureter due to an impacted staghorn calculus kidney stone from dehydration of excavating at Corinth; a light case of malaria at Karnak, Egypt; an out of control, strep throat that turned into something more in Izmir, Turkey; a ruptured appendix, surgery, and peritonitis in Tripolis, Libya, and so on.
In each case, the care was terrible. A sole lonely doctor or maverick nurse in two cases saved my life, but on the average the facilities were filthy, and the employees akin to those in the government-run post office or bank. And a strange thing occurred as well: often the staff became mad at the patient: ‘Why did you come here with an appendix problem?’; You should have not let your strep get out of control!’; ‘If you don’t drink water, what do you expect!’; ‘See what happens when you don’t take all your quinine pills!’.”
-Victor Davis Hanson, “On Becoming Europe,” Pajamas Media, August 12, 2009