Wednesday 13 December 2017

David Robbins: Playing the waiting game in A&E at 1am on a wednesday . . .

The waiting room of the A&E department at St James's Hospital in Dublin does not improve upon acquaintance. It is a spare, uncomfortable place, and looks for all the world like a boarding gate at the airport of a former Soviet republic.

Banks of airport-style chairs are bolted to the floor. Vending machines blink and whirr along the walls. An electronic board facing the entrance flashes alternating messages.

"The average waiting time to see a doctor is eight hours," says one.

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