Rich People Get Way Fancier Hospital Rooms Than Regular Sick People

hospital bedAverage hospital accommodationsEveryone in your family healthy? I sincerely hope so. If not, though, and you think a hospital stay of any duration might be in your or a loved one's future, you might want to start playing the lottery or hatching some other get-rich-quick scheme. Because the rich not only get richer, as the saying goes, it turns out they also get waaaay better hospital rooms.

Yep, according to The New York Times, for a few thousand extra bucks a night (pocket change for the ultra-well-heeled, I guess), a growing number of hospitals are now offering patients the option of addressing their illnesses in ultra-swanky suites, complete with four-star amenities like super-high-thread-count Frette bed linens; organic, gourmet food prepared to order by an actual chef; cushy bathrobes; well-appointed reading rooms; marble bathroom fixtures; and ... wait for it ... your own butler.

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And if the deluxe amenities enjoyed by the fabled and fortunate 1 percent doesn't make us poor 99 percenters feel a little sick, well, it's enough to make us almost wish we were. Sick, that is. Except when we go to the hospital suffering from some malady or other, we get none of that. What we get is a sort of bacteria-plagued hell on earth with scratchy sheets, rock-hard pillows, grim fluorescent lighting, humiliating gap-back gowns, stained curtain room dividers that cut us off from seeing (but not hearing) miserable, loudly moaning roommates spreading lord-knows-what germs, food that if we were well enough to eat it would surely make us instantly ill, and that pervasive smell of urine and disinfectant that is the signature of the vast majority of hospital rooms.

And a uniformed butler? Ha! We're lucky enough to get an over-extended nurse to bring us a plastic cup of ice water or a bedpan within an hour of our first request!

Sigh, no, clearly there is a world of difference between being sick when you're loaded with cash and being sick when you're, like so many of us, just loaded with good intentions and a pocketful of dreams. On the other hand, perhaps those people sleeping on fancy sheets in the hospital are not so lucky, when you come right down to it. After all, I wouldn't trade my health for all the money and prepared-especially-for-me lobster tails in the world. Would you?

What do you think of the disparity between the hospital amenities available to the wealthy and what the rest of us get?

 

Image via Genista/Flickr

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