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America's controversial health care system is broken and nowhere is it more evident than in The Waiting Room. A composite 24 hour period at Highland Hospital in Oakland, one of the nation's busiest emergency rooms, offers a raw, intimate, and even uplifting look at how patients, staff and caregivers each cope with disease, bureaucracy and hard choices and what it means for millions of Americans to live without health insurance.
This emergency room sees about 80,000 visits annually. Doctors and nurses juggle 236 beds, balancing limited resources in a delicate triage system to provide care to a community desperately in need. The tension between trauma and acute care builds in the waiting room at Highland Hospital, resulting in long, frustrating periods spent waiting for basic medical attention-sometimes up to 12 hours!
The Waiting Room lays bare the struggle and determination of both a community and an institution functioning with limited resources and no road map for navigating a health care landscape marked by historic economic and political dysfunction. Through this story of one hospital and its multifaceted community, the film powerfully and poignantly illustrates the common vulnerability to illness that binds us together as humans.
O Cinema is a cutting-edge independent cinema located in Miami's Wynwood Arts District, that specializes in showing first-run independent, foreign, art, and niche films.