Carry On Doctor
To live in Vodeo is to live the good life. The summers are hot and sunny, the monsoon (mahr) is hot and rainy, and there's plenty of bananas, rum, and banana-flavoured rum for everybody. Yes, while the Ulethans burn wood, coal, or each other to survive the northern winters, in Vodeo the question is which beach to visit today. Ah, now this is living!
Every once in a while, though, something will happen to interrupt the gentle flow of life here on the equator. Sometimes the power will go out, and with it the air conditioning. Sometimes the mahr will be a little too heavy and half of Havilland ends up under water. And sometimes people fall ill and find themselves in need of care. Today we will have a look at healthcare in Vodeo, but don't get too close lest you catch something dreadful. Pull up a bed and let me tell you a tale.
The people are ill, and unwell too
As an equatorial country, Vodeo is no stranger to disease. Malaria and other tropical diseases have been around since time immemorial, and even though the native tribes were generally immune to them, enough still died that malaria was known as the drehai (literally "evil death"). When the Ulethans began to arrive at the end of the 15th century, and especially from the late 16th century onward, northern diseases spread like wildfire through the tribes, with tens of thousands dying. Attempts were made to try and ease the suffering of the natives, but the colonial leadership liked to take a different approach - all these dark savages dying meant more room for civilisation. It's hardly surprising to know that this is still a sore point between natives and Ulethan Vodeans to this day.
It didn't take long for Vodeo to get its revenge, though. The tropical diseases that the "dark savages" were able to live with ripped through the cities and towns of Cambria and St Austell, killing countless people and putting a black mark next to Vodeo's otherwise appealing name. Healthcare was in its very infancy at this time, and with the limited medical knowledge available, there was little the townsfolk could do but try and isolate themselves from the spread of disease. The occasional outbreaks were very much a handbrake on the growth of the main centres.
By the mid-late 19th century, Vodeo's public health efforts were fighting back. The very basic hospitals that had existed were torn down and replaced with larger and more modern premises, and when coupled with the latest scientific discoveries from Uletha, the battle for Vodeo's health began to slowly inch in the country's favour. The catch was that healthcare by this time was very much on the user-pays system - if you couldn't pay the hospital fees, you either stayed sick or went into a debtor's prison (and caught who knows what else). Some benevolent societies were set up to try and help the less well-off (usually in poorer areas of cities and mining towns), and in 1874 the Health Care Assurance Society (later the Healthcare Insurance Company, or HCIC) was established to try and get as many people health coverage as possible.
The Progressive government of the 1880s took steps to try and open healthcare to more and more people, but a change in government to Caldwell Runciman's Federals in 1889 saw those evaporate. The Progressives returned to power in 1902 and were able to secure free healthcare for the elderly, but everyone else still had to pay (especially expectant mothers, since it was their own stupid fault they were in the situation). The Federal government of 1910-19 opted to keep this provision, but not make any more changes. Some of the provincial governments did what they could, but were handicapped by the power of the central government.
When the Liberals came into office in 1919 they set about improving the lot of the average Vodean's healthcare. While fully free healthcare was seen as simply too socialist even for them, they were able to introduce free healthcare for babies, and footed the bill for more hospitals - all of which didn't sit too well with the 1925-31 Federal government, which kept them for fear of electoral backlash, but made no steps to grow or improve the system.
The biggest change came in the 1930s and 1940s, when overwhelming electoral victories gave the Liberals the mandate they needed to implement huge reforms. In 1935, healthcare was made a national right, and hospitals owned by the government or provinces were made free-of-charge. This was the start of the progressive roll-out of the national health system over the following decade, with everything from free doctor's visits to huge investments in improving the health of pregnant mothers, babies, and children. So popular was the system that Federal gave up opposing it and embraced it by the time of the 1947 and 1950 elections. There have been some changes to the system over the years, such as the scrapping of free doctor's visits in 1987 (and their reinstatement in 2003), but the system today is still very similar to that introduced more than 70 years ago.
Vodeo's national healthcare system is considered one of the country's greatest achievements, and while private hospitals and health insurance do exist, the vast majority of people are content to be looked after by their public health people. Tamper with it at your peril.
The Royal Saviso: Go be sick somewhere else
And so our story brings us to the front door of the Royal Saviso Hospital, Vodeo's largest and most important - if the other provinces can't perform a particular surgery, often they'll be sent here. The hospital is actually two in one: the Royal Saviso, a general hospital where everything from cancer treatment to maternity is taken care of; and the Royal Children's Hospital, which specialises in getting children well again. Across the road is the Saviso University Hospital, and soon the three will be joined by a women's hospital. The hospital is based mainly on Auckland Hospital, a place my family has become fairly familiar with over the last dozen years or so.
Of note are three unremarkable-looking buildings - two hotels and a bakery. The first hotel is Park Lodge, based on Domain Lodge in Auckland, a specialised hotel for people from out of Auckland needing somewhere to stay while they undergo cancer treatments. The hotel is also open to the public, but guests staying for treatment get their accommodation paid for by the government. Park Lodge serves the same function. In a similar vein is Belle House, based on the Ronald McDonald Houses found around the world, only this one is sponsored by Cobalt and named for their famous feline mascot. It's nice and close to the Children's Hospital too, so that families are only a couple minutes' walk from the wards. The third building is the bakery, Leroy's - your average, run-of-the-mill bakery serving pies, sandwiches, pastries, lamingtons (pink lamingtons are better than chocolate ones, just saying), and whatnot. What makes it special enough to appear on the map is that it was a bakery my mother frequented while she was having her treatments, and the place became something of a legend. I ended up living not far from Auckland Hospital while I was at university, and made regular visits to what was actually called Le Royal (not sure what my wallet and waist thought), but by that time our name had stuck. And so a humble little bakery finds its way onto the map, sustained by an endless flow of university students and hospital visitors and staff.
Although healthcare is the focus of Alessa's Mapper's Challenge this month, I had planned on mapping the hospitals for some time, but after seeing Eklas' work, I decided that now was as good a time as any to finally get them on the map. After all that work, it's time for a lamington - a pink one, of course.
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Nice hospital complex! I think the compactedness of it fits well into the nearby parts that are mapped at the building level. It's definitely a tight squeeze to get such a big hospital in there. I also think it's great you tied it into a medical college. The buildings in the southwest quadrant seem a little odd given the mix of different angles against the nearby roads, but that's probably an aesthetic choice on your part. Given your other (great) work, I'd imagine you wanted this kind of disjunction between aligned and skewed. — Alessa (talk) 21:52, 9 February 2018 (CET)
- I agree! This hospital uses every single square meter and manages to fit everything important into a small area. Feels like the sample apartments inside Ikea showrooms, and I love Ikea. --Eklas (talk) 13:38, 10 February 2018 (CET)
- The aim of the game was to replicate Auckland Hospital, the difference here being that Saviso Hospital isn't built on the side of a volcano (yes, you read that correctly). To allow for the grid-breaking, I decided it would be nicer to angle the buildings around and add some green spaces and whatnot. It also serves as some rather handy traffic calming. Besides, I think it looks nicer than having rows upon rows of uniform buildings, which isn't really how we tend to build Down Under. Still, when the hospital is directly responsible for a million people and can also be used by the whole of St Austell (5 million plus), it needs to use every square inch very efficiently. ParAvion (talk) 20:23, 10 February 2018 (CET)
Nice work my friend, it reminds me that I should do one of these challenges one day, and this one seems as good as any. Port Frederick needs a hospital, so I might as well start there. Once that is, I finish faffing around with Corfe Harbour and the tin smelter in Philipstown. So much to do... lolz Turnsole80 (talk) 12:03, 10 February 2018 (CET)
- I know how you feel. There's so much of Vodeo outside of Saviso, and yet it seems that Saviso is the biggest time-sink of them all. Holme, Avington, and Silverton don't even have CBDs yet, and the inland is hardly mapped at all. And yet I find that Saviso needs another subdivision, so in it goes... ParAvion (talk) 20:23, 10 February 2018 (CET)