Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Quacks, prayers and naff art? No thanks!

An invitation on the government website (see http://www.gov.im/lib/news/dhss/rewardingrecogni.xml)
to find out more about hospital volunteering is making me quite ill. Really!
I have nothing particular against hospital volunteers. I’ve never met anyone they’ve helped myself - the ones who sit near the Nobles Hospital entrance to act as hospital guides, for example, never know where anything or anyone is.
But I’m sure they do good for somebody.
The thing is, if you skim through the press release straight to the end (where they list the speakers and advertise the inevitable church service) this is nothing but a list of the wrongheaded organisations and ideas that make any hospital visit a nightmare.
For instance, have you SEEN the bland junk they pass off as public art in hospitals?
Even Manx artists, most of whom couldn’t flog their tat in an Oxfam closedown sale, see the Healing Arts Programme as a conspiracy against taste and decency. Anyway, as Quentin Crisp always said when asked what had he got against art, ‘What have you got against bare walls?’
And don’t get me started on the cancer industry, as typified by the Macmillan goons.
After the DHSS included a chapel in the new hospital without bothering to ask anyone if it was needed (or what form a religious room should take if it could be shown it was), and as the Christians wouldn’t share their ghetto with anyone else, there was a campaign for a neutral place where anyone could go for a spot of peace and quiet instead. A store room near the entrance then had a sign reading ‘quiet room’ sellotaped to the door for about a month. That was the full extent of the information campaign, or attempts to meet needs of those of other religions, such as the predominantly Muslim medical staff.
Then a ‘management consultant’ coincidentally involved with twonks who ‘treat’ cancer with plastic smiles and aromatherapy intervened. The store room immediately had shedloads of public cash wasted turning it into a Macmillan Care ‘Information centre’ (read ‘begging bowl with carpets').
Yup. Volunteer to make me a nice cuppa when I’m twiddling my thumbs on a hospital ward in the near future and I’ll thank you for your kindness. But if I only have one life (which I do) I’ll be quite happy if I can lead it totally free of bad art, religion and interference from clueless pseudo-professional parasites such as cancer charities.

No comments: