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Choice: a tale of two hospitals

BMJ 2011; 343 doi: (Published 13 July 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;343:d4421
  1. Mary E Black, public health physician, Belgrade, Serbia
  1. drmaryblack{at}

My daughter’s classmate, a 16 year old fencing champion with a torn knee meniscus, was admitted to hospital the night before planned surgery in Belgrade, Serbia, and sent to bed in pyjamas. Her operation was cancelled; to keep her place on the waiting list she was admitted to hospital for a week. After a successful procedure under general anaesthetic she was confined to hospital for a further five days and was eventually allowed home on crutches.[f1]

My 85 year old mother, a retired doctor with ocular lens implants, bilateral hearing aids, arthritic knees, …

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