Trevor Noah mocks U.S. health care system’s wait times, paperwork after emergency appendectomy

This pundit got a ruptured appendix – and a fresh set of eyes.
“The Daily Show” host Trevor Noah got a crash course in American health care early Wednesday when he said an emergency room employee prioritized paperwork over his perforated appendix.
“‘The lady’s like, ‘Can you fill out the form?’ And I’m like, ‘I’m dying!’” he said, putting his Thursday night audience in stitches. “And she’s like, ‘Yeah, but I need you to fill out the form first.’”
The South African comedian also ridiculed U.S. hospitals’ sickening wait times in a medical monologue on his show.

“I don’t know if ‘emergency room’ is the right term, because they make you wait,” said the 31-year-old funnyman, who immigrated to the United States in 2011.

“I feel like there should be two rooms: A room for emergencies, and a room for people who can fill out forms,” he added.
It wasn’t clear which city hospital admitted Jon Stewart’s successor, but he likely wasn’t the only patient losing patience. The Center for Disease Control reports that the mean wait time in U.S. emergency departments spiked 25% to 58.1 minutes between 2003 and 2009, with wait times of more than an hour in urban areas like New York City.

Although the comic said he was “dying” from intense pain, he alleged that a nurse hounded him to fill out paperwork and provide his insurance before receiving medical treatment.

And even when he began to faint, she apparently told him, “You can’t faint here, sir.” He was then taken to a separate room — where he was still asked to complete paperwork before losing consciousness.

Noah wasn’t sure whether Comedy Central had given him insurance yet, so when nurse asked how he would pay for his ER visit, he cracked, “With my life, clearly, because you’re not helping me.”

The outsider reminded viewers that the American healthcare system needs a checkup. The 2014 Social Progress Index ranked the U.S. 70th in health and wellness among 132 nations, largely because Americans spend so much on health care, and yet get so little in return, largely due to administrative overhead and pricey patented drugs, medical devices, procedures, hospital care and physicians’ fees, according to U.S. News & World Report.

But Noah’s dire situation got a dose of levity when the nurse recognized him.
“You know what, I’ve seen the billboards. You’re fine,” she told him. “You can pay for this.”

All kidding aside, Noah should be pretty familiar with medical red tape. South Africa’s health care system has a huge disparity between the wealthy minority that are covered by private insurance, and the poorer 40 million uninsured who pay out of pocket.

The comedian, whose “Daily Show” gig began Sept. 28, went on to clarify that it had been his own decision to return to the desk a mere day after his surgery — not Comedy Central’s.

But that didn’t stop angry viewers from slamming the network with bizarre, racially charged accusations, he said.

“‘One day off after surgery? Is it because he’s black?'” Noah gleefully recited, adding that his favorite was, “Is it Comedy Central, or the cotton fields?”

Criticism aside, the late-night host had only kind words for his “fantastic” surgeons and well-wishing fans.

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