Had the misfortune to have to take my close relative to the emergency department (urgenca) in the main Ljubljana hospital (Klinični center). She was showing signs of severe pain and the symptoms were progressively getting worse by the hour. Not that she would have particularly like to but she really needed to see somebody as this had never happened before and the condition was causing her a lot of worry. Besides, of course, being in excruciating pain.

I have heard bad things about the Ljubljana EMT from various people and it was all from years ago. With all the political will in the background you would have thought that would have improved by now. It turned out nothing could be further from the truth.

Despite the EMT waiting room being relatively quiet she had to put in agonizing three hours of waiting before being seen. Now I do understand that some cases need priority but to leave someone in so much distress for such a long time and not even a proper apology is in my opinion professional misconduct. It was blatantly obvious that the EMT department was under-staffed but a lot of employees that were there just simply didn’t care!

In our desperation we asked some nurses that were in the EMT corridor about how long we would have to wait and they in a sarcastic manor told us they are from a different department. Not a hint of compassion or understanding. It all seemed like a big joke to them that we asked them in the first place.

After she received an injection of pain relief she was told to wait in the waiting room for half an hour in case of any allergic on anaphylactic reactions to the drugs she was given. This was also supposed give the staff time to write a report called an “izvid” that you are supposed to give to your GP. Instead of half an hour we had to wait another 3 hours and would probably would  have to wait even longer if we wouldn’t have left.

I work as a veterinary surgeon in a veterinary practice for companion animals and I can assure you that if I dared pull a stunt like the Ljubljana EMT did with my relative, I would very quickly have found myself in front of the RCVS disciplinary committee. I can assure any reader of this article that we treat our patients much, MUCH nicer with tonnes more compassion and professionalism.

If I was a patient in such a situation I would probably would be begging to be euthanized but I would probably get a faster service if I flew to Switzerland straight from the waiting room.