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Oct. 1 2009 - 10:29 am | 4 views | 0 recommendations | 3 comments

Got health care angst? Eat it

I think this is supposed to be funny?

I think this is supposed to be funny?

If you’re among the millions of uninsured Americans, or the millions of Americans pining for health care reform – or advocating against it, for that matter – you’re probably a little bit tired of fighting about medical care right now. Maybe so tired that you’re ready to pack up on an international getaway. And maybe one where you can indulge in a little bit of health-care-hating emotional eating?

At The Clinic in Singapore, patrons are asked to indulge in some kind of culinary anesthesia: “forget what they feel” is the catchphrase at this sexy, medically-themed restaurant and lounge. Cocktails like “Sex on a Drip” are served in IV bags and syringes, and servers dressed like nurses and doctors dish out appetizers to diners seated in wheelchairs. All in a white-and-metallic pill-shaped room with clinical decor that’s meant as a “tongue-in-cheek” tribute to artist Damien Hirst. If there’s something profound to “get” here, I’m missing it. Anyone?

And Singapore’s not the only place where you can eat à la health care. Rather than an experiment in artistic interpretation, Latvia’s Hospitalis considers itself an educational mecca of “diverse medical offices from the Soviet era.” But it hardly sounds like the place for an upstanding history lesson. Patrons can choose to dine in wheelchairs, hospital beds or – yay – a morgue, complete with grisly footage of autopsies on repeat. Oh, and if you like a little bit of kinky in your pseudo-hospital outings, you can opt to be restrained in the “psych ward” and spoon-fed by a nurse.

Both restaurants serve haute cuisine you’d more likely expect in a standard fine-dining milieu. But if you’ve already got health problems, you may want to skip out: appetizers like deep-fried potato pancakes aren’t going to do anything for your medical bills once you’re back stateside.

And speaking of health problems, our nation’s got it’s own medically-themed gastronomical enterprise. And it’s a tried-and-true testament to the lifestyle choices that got a lot of Americans into this health care brouhaha in the first place: Arizona’s Heart Attack Grill, where weighing in at 350 lbs gets you a free bypass double cheeseburger.

Sigh.


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  1. collapse expand

    Only someone’s who hasn’t been near a hospital for any real reason would find this appealing. We’ve been to our local ER so many times we know the attending’s name who works the overnight shift. That’s not a good thing.

  2. collapse expand

    Glad you think this is as strange as I do – what would ever motivate someone to eat in an austere, clinical, macabre environment? I mean…tourists…I guess? Morbid tourists?

  3. collapse expand

    I had quite enough of that at boarding school…

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    About Me

    I'm a full-time heath & science writer at Sphere and a contributing editor at True/Slant. I also contribute military health news to Danger Room at Wired.com, and have recently written for Marie Claire, World Politics Review and Next American City.

    My first foray into journalism came in middle school - at a French-speaking plaid-kilt-wearing educational institute somewhere in the Canadian tundra. It was there that I decided to start my own newspaper, to disseminate my sarcasm and attitude problem among my peers. We lasted three issues.

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