Your Health is your Wealth (An insider review of work place related illness and absenteeism)
Minister for health, Simon Harris, has plans to implement new legislation to simultaneously tackle both the severe over-crowding that is occurring in our hospitals and the rising levels of workplace absenteeism. He recently gave an interview discussing why he felt the impending statutory instrument was ultimately necessary to regulate the influx of patients being admitted into our accident and emergency departments.
“I have to say although this legislation may perhaps seem harsh to some weaker socialists, it is ultimately necessary to facilitate the smooth running of our healthcare system nationwide. It will be a preventative measure to obstruct both lazy and hysterical “patients” from gaining access to a service which is urgently required by those who truly need it.”
– Minister for health Simon Harris
After hearing such a bitter statement I investigated a little further. Would people really go to such lengths, (i.e. admit themselves to the accident and emergency department/obtain a fake sick cert) to get a day off work?
I reviewed some figures generated by the central statistics department based in county Wexford on absenteeism in the work place. In a group of 100 participants over 50 admitted to “pulling a sickie” in work and obtaining a sick cert to do so. A further 20 admitted to worsening symptoms to attend a hospital appointment and obtain a more realistic cert, with ten percent of the 20 taking up space in our already overcrowded accident and emergency departments. The department have yet to carry out a statistical analysis of hypochondriacs admitted to A&E departments but I am sure the numbers would also surprise many of our readers!
[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”#70006c” class=”” size=””]Suggested Reading: Curing Baldness And The Uncommon Cold In Theme Hospital[/perfectpullquote]
With this in mind I interviewed some workers based in county Dublin about their views on pulling a sickie:
“Yeh sure like we’ve all done it ! When I was in Supermacs I shoved me head in the Emew enclosure just so I’d get pecked like! Turns out they’re pacifists, the bastards”
– Anonymous inner-city Dubliner
“The circuit court diary was soooo busy, I threw myself down three stairs, it was just a twisted ankle but I was hoping for a breakage“
– Anonymous trainee solicitor
“I really love my job and would never do such a thing“
– Anonymous liar
The legislation itself has various measures implemented to deal with such scenarios. Some features of which include – lie detector tests upon entering reception, a questionnaire to determine how exactly the injury was obtained, and if accompanying an ailing relative, the degree of proximity will also be assessed – great aunt Bertha won’t get you off today Sunny!
“IF IT DOESN’T LOOK LIKE A POST WORLD WAR TWO HOSPITAL CAMP IN EVERY A&E IN IRELAND I WILL BE MAJORLY PISSED. I WANT TO SEE LEGS HANGING OFF LADS“
– Minister for Health, Simon Harris.
Remembering an incident my own hypochondriac grandma had in Turkey, I decided to be admitted undercover to saint Vincent’s A&E department with a similar complaint.
She had swallowed a chicken wing, which she believed had become lodged in her craw. It had actually transpired that the bone had merely grazed her epiglottis and she was just what is colloquially known as a “moany git.“
Utilising a similar ruse I passed undetected by my GP and entered accident and emergency where the overcrowding was particularly evident. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory style sleeping arrangements were present, with four patients sharing one trolley. Despite having only a minor cold I was connected to a drip, and received VIP treatment with a specialist being driven down from Galway to examine my craw. I was diagnosed with globus, or phantom full throat disorder, and was given a cert to cover a week of absenteeism from work.
It was all so ridiculously simple. Mission accomplished. Next diagnosis; leprosy!