Tuesday, February 2, 2010
ST. JOHN'S, NEWFOUNDLAND & LABRADOR, CANADA - Premier Danny Williams has left Canada for heart surgery in the United States in order not to be slapped by Canadian hospital personnel. Said province spokesman Reginald Canning, "In a little known fact, Canadian hospital staff are allowed to slap a patient on a single occasion for complaining. Wishing to preserve his dignity, Mr. Williams has elected to be operated on in the United States." Different names describe the practice of health care workers striking complaining sick people in single-payer systems. In England, slapping a patient is known as 'cautioning,' while in Canada it's called a 'check.' In Cuba, it's called 'the little kiss.' In addition, Cuban hospital workers may fling patients out a window in what is termed 'airing out the bedding.' While acknowledging Premier Williams' aversion to being checked, Canning defended the system. "Is it fair that hospital staff should be badgered while doing their best? In the 90s, they could use a closed fist on any lout demanding treatment. In the 80s, they could still use blunt objects. But now it's only a little slap. I'd call that progressive."