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ARTICLE: LEGO Health Care in Tabletown


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#1 TheBrickster

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Posted 11 November 2009 - 08:32 PM

LEGO Health Care in Tabletown

Universal Health Care Article by TheBrickster

Over the past year, there’s been much discussion in the United States over “Universal Health Care”.  Should the United States adopt the European and Canadian models for delivering healthcare to its uninsured and underinsured citizens?  If adapted, will the Universal Health Care option create a shortage of Health Care professionals causing long lines for needed medical care, and will the Federal Government deny expensive medical procedures for older citizens?  What is the price of a socialized Health Care option?  These are just a few of the questions being addressed in the Unites States over Health Care reform.  

The problem of universal Health Care goes far beyond the United Sates, and the need for better Health Care delivery is certainly one of the numerous concerns.  Shortages of doctors, nurses, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and medical technicians are not only felt in developed cities, as well as third world countries, but also in your LEGO Tabletown.  Since the late 70s during the development of LEGO towns and cities, medical Care for minifigs has been lacking.  One of the first comprehensive medical centers in Tabletown was erected in 1976 under the generic name of Hospital 555.  While the brick-and-mortar structure provided demanding jobs for its four Health Care professionals, gaps in services were quickly an issue through the hospital’s lack of needed diagnostic equipment.  In addition, single patient rooms were not available resulting in patient privacy issues and a decrease in patient satisfaction.  While the hospital did provide emergency medical treatment through an ambulance and rear building emergency room, employee morale was questionable as observed through minifigs always having their hands in their pockets.  

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Hospital 555, Medical Center or Mental Health Facility?

A few years passed in Tabletown as minifigs watched the population boom and Government continued to utilize their limited budget on fire and police stations.  Health Care remained an issue and minifigs tried to stay well knowing that Hospital 555 was hardly a “patient centered Care” facility.  Some minifigs even stated that they’d “rather die than go to Hospital 555”.  It wasn’t until 1980 that a Board Certified Family Practice physician would be enticed to move to Tabletown to provide services at a small Paramedic Unit located on 6364 Main Street.  Unfortunately, the doctor’s 4-stud wide vehicle was hardly equipped to provide emergency medical care, and through house calls with an antiquated walkie-talkie in hand, the doctor rarely had time to treat established patients waiting far beyond 30 days for a primary Care visit.  New patients often waited in excess of 90 days.  Tabletown minifigs demanded quality LEGO Health Care to be delivered in a new facility!

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6364, Paramedic Unit or Family Practice?

In 1987, Tabletown would get its first full-service Emergency Treatment Center (ETC), with two full-time physicians and one registered nurse.  The new facility served as a “state-of-the-art” trauma center and quickly restored the smiles of Tabletown minifigs.  Contributable to a highly innovative and “patient-centered” hospital design with sun-lit rooms, patient satisfaction was at an “all-time high”. The new hospital even offered its patients a beverage while they waited for their scheduled doctor’s appointment, through a volunteer program.  Hospital 555 became a “thing of the past” and was quickly converted into a mental Health institution while the new ETC continued to flourish.  ETCs’ patients were highly satisfied with their medical care, and those that left with a frown or complaining of depression, were quickly sent to Hospital 555 by way of a 4-stud wide paramedic convertible.

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6380 Emergency Treatment Center - High Patient Satisfaction

Though ETC was an efficient and effective medical facility, funding continued to diminish as more fire and police stations were constructed.  In addition, uninsured minifigs from new LEGO themes created a strain on available resources and the building quickly deteriorated.  The concept of a “World City” did not exactly include universal or “World Health Care” as the cost of such a program would be astronomical.  Years passed before discussion to even fund another hospital or medical center began.

High atop a hill far from the “hustle and bustle” of Tabletown, a new hospital would break ground.  It took over 20 years to construct with new permit requirements and “red tape”, and the design did not even come close to being as good as Classic Town's ETC.  With just two full-time physicians and an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT), the hospital served as a meager attempt to provide Health Care to the ever increasing population of Tabletown.  Even its location was a poor decision, although it did offer a “Flight for Life” helicopter transport.  

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7892 Hospital - Access an Issue

So, where has the debate over “Universal Health Care” left the minifigs of Tabletown?

LEGO Health Care remains an unsolved issue in Tabletown.  How will its Government pay for the necessary medical services for its minifigs without raising taxes?  Is socialized medicine, similar to the European and Canadian models more effective than a private system?  Will minifigs continue to pursue careers in Health Care under a socialized system where government contracts cap pricing/revenue?  Will waits and delays for needed services increase under another government-ran program? Is there any hope for a new LEGO modular hospital?   These are just a few of the many unresolved questions in the debate for Universal Health Care.  Until then, elected Tabletown politicians can always devote more resources to fire and police stations.

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#2 Rick

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Posted 11 November 2009 - 08:37 PM

I didn't realize these are the only hospitals ever released by TLG. 'Our' 6380 comes from my wife's childhood collection. And despite it's simplicity, I've always had sort of a weak spot for 6364, which unfortunately I don't own. Can't be bothered with the most recent hospital.

#3 the Inventor

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Posted 11 November 2009 - 08:57 PM

I didn't know these were the only hospitals of Lego.

I sadly only own the new one :cry_sad: , but I would really like a new better one, and not again a new fire station and/or police HQ.


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#4 lightningtiger

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Posted 11 November 2009 - 09:31 PM

7892 OMG what were they thinking, out of all the medical sets it's the worst. Who's ever heard of a two bed hospital and a small operating theater with a CHAIN SAW, mercy !   :cry_sad:  :thumbdown:
A hospital is way over due, we seem to get too much police or fire and no one to treat the sick.
A 32x16 wide 2 storey should be the minimum size or even something the size of 2008 police station, with a large ward, an ER, reception area and of course a much better equiped operating theater.
Come on Lego, before our minifigs catch 'plastic-flu'.

#5 marvinblue

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Posted 11 November 2009 - 10:08 PM

We had 6364 as little tackers, I remember it well. I can't believe this is the total listings of Medical Facilities. As for the latest offering; yuck!! It's a crappy design and and even crappier excuse to use that baseplate. C'mon TLG, give us a better offering please.

View Postlightningtiger, on Nov 12 2009, 07:31 AM, said:

A hospital is way over due, we seem to get too much police or fire and no one to treat the sick.
A 32x16 wide 2 storey should be the minimum size or even something the size of 2008 police station, with a large ward, an ER, reception area and of course a much better equiped operating theater.
Come on Lego, before our minifigs catch 'plastic-flu'.
I whole-hartedly agree!!!

Edited by marvinblue, 11 November 2009 - 10:10 PM.

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#6 Big Cam

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Posted 11 November 2009 - 10:30 PM

Great comparison thread, I had no idea we were dealing with so few hosptials.

Your research style threads always entertain me!

#7 brickzone

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Posted 11 November 2009 - 10:38 PM

I quite like 6380 - I'd like to see a modernised version - bigger, like the scale of the recent Fire Stations. The most recent hospital is the worse for being on the 3D baseplate IMO (and I quite liked the Police Station that used that board - so it isn't just anti-3D baseplatism).

Some hospitals here in Ireland (and from what I've seen, the UK) are a specific 60s modern look, and this would work well in Lego I think. Here some have been renovated and despite suffering from a run-down look in the 80s and early 90s, one can again appreciate the nice architecture (albeit with the environment a bit more cluttered than back in the day). I think a Lego set trying to capture a contemporary (new) hospital building would be a fail - as the current trend seems to be to build hideous box-like monstrosities of glass and concrete or tacky panelling, with very little in the way of aesthetically pleasing lines and curves (or where there are curves/features, they are over-the-top "expressions" of the architect).

#8 Ricecracker

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Posted 11 November 2009 - 10:49 PM

How could you forget this Dacta set? :wink:


Great job with the article, though, and with your series as a whole.

#9 Marko

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Posted 11 November 2009 - 10:52 PM

You forgot the Dacta 9364 It is a decent size that probably only capital cities had

#10 Xenophilius Studz

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Posted 11 November 2009 - 10:57 PM

All I have to say is UGH!
Keep dishing out the Police Stations and Fire Stations. Tabletowns across world can't have enough of those.
Come on LEGO! Just release a decent, state-of-the-art hospital for crying out loud!! If you do ANYTHING for summer 2010, release a new medical wave with a DECENT hospital that ISN'T on a mountain!! A lot of AFOLs will bless you guys more, or at least I will.
Excellent article, Brickster.

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#11 Milan

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Posted 11 November 2009 - 11:01 PM

Really nice text, TheBrickster!
I have enjoyed reading it, and I agree with the others that we need more hospitals! :thumbup:
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#12 prateek

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Posted 12 November 2009 - 02:14 AM

Woah. I've just realised we need a good hospital. IMO none of these hospitals are good. :sceptic:

#13 Piranha

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Posted 12 November 2009 - 02:29 AM

Well they could start by having a more decent hospital built  :classic:  :tongue:

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#14 jonwil

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Posted 12 November 2009 - 02:42 AM

A hospital done to match the 2008 police station and the 2010 fire station would be GREAT.

#15 harrysnapperorgans

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Posted 12 November 2009 - 03:07 AM

That datca hospital is pretty cool, I would have loved that as a kid.

#16 Legoliner Pilot

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Posted 12 November 2009 - 03:08 AM

Why is everyone running over and praising 9364? For one thing, it's open-aired and has no roof! Second, it looks like a cross between a relief outpost and a drive-in American movie theater!  :sick:

#17 MetroiD

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Posted 12 November 2009 - 03:31 AM

Brickster mate, that has got to be one of the most enjoyable reviews / articles I've read in a long time  :thumbup: And I'm being perfectly honest here, great read!

As to the Dacta set - sorry guys, but I wouldn't call that a hospital. A playset perhaps, but anything that lacks four walls and a roof can't be considered a finished structure in my books. For all I know, you might just as well call a Belville house a modular :) Given, 9364 lays the foundations of what could have been a wonderful set, but it stops at that, letting the builder's imagination turn this into the best healthcare facility in LEGOLAND. Or into yet another flop of a hospital - I've seen what happens to most Dacta sets and believe me, kids at kindergarten are hardly concerned about those patients' health...
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#18 wooootles

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Posted 12 November 2009 - 03:38 AM

Yeh, I'd like to see a Hospital with the budget of the current police station ($80-100).  If it takes the size of the Police Station building I wouldn't have a problem with it.  Also, needs
-A nice ambulance that is worth $20-22ish if sold separately
-helicopter that can airlift a stretcher
-a civilian car
-8 minifigs (civilian, ambulance driver, copter pilot, 2 doctors, 2 nurses, receptionist)
-an ER entrance to the building

Am I asking for too much?  :grin:
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#19 Helmantel

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Posted 12 November 2009 - 10:56 AM

I own 555, 6364 and 6380.

The 555 is nice looking. I actually like the look of many of the 70's buildings. They're simple and lack details and are not very well suited to minifigs, but the "architecture" is usually pretty nice and more realistic than most later buildings. But I'm going to sell it because I don't collect 70's Lego (I want to keep my collection focused on 1980's town and trains as well as new stuff like modular buildings and trians like the Emerald Night).

The 6364 is neat too, like all the little buildings from that era. Very simple and small, but somehow that doesn't seem to matter.

I remember I didn't like the 6380 when it came out. I figured it was just a bunch of windows, which it is, but now that I bought it last year I think it's neat and blends in nicely with the other town sets from that period. It also has a decent size, which makes a bit more convincing as a (small) hospital.

#20 Ricecracker

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Posted 12 November 2009 - 01:38 PM

View PostTheOtters, on Nov 11 2009, 10:31 PM, said:

As to the Dacta set - sorry guys, but I wouldn't call that a hospital. A playset perhaps, but anything that lacks four walls and a roof can't be considered a finished structure in my books. For all I know, you might just as well call a Belville house a modular :) Given, 9364 lays the foundations of what could have been a wonderful set, but it stops at that, letting the builder's imagination turn this into the best healthcare facility in LEGOLAND. Or into yet another flop of a hospital - I've seen what happens to most Dacta sets and believe me, kids at kindergarten are hardly concerned about those patients' health...
Well then shouldn't all the others be taken out of they article too - they only have three sides.

#21 Rick

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Posted 12 November 2009 - 02:05 PM

View PostRicecracker, on Nov 12 2009, 01:38 PM, said:

Well then shouldn't all the others be taken out of they article too - they only have three sides.
555 has four walls...  :tongue:

#22 Ricecracker

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Posted 12 November 2009 - 02:09 PM

View PostRick, on Nov 12 2009, 09:05 AM, said:

555 has four walls...  :tongue:
The last three then :hmpf:  :laugh:

#23 MetroiD

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Posted 12 November 2009 - 02:10 PM

View PostRicecracker, on Nov 12 2009, 02:38 PM, said:

Well then shouldn't all the others be taken out of they article too - they only have three sides.
Come on, you know what I meant there, why go into technicalities :hmpf_bad:

P.S.: By the way, don't get me wrong - I also loved that Dacta set when I was a kid and I'd just sit there and think what I could turn it into... but I still can't count it as an actual hospital.

Edited by TheOtters, 12 November 2009 - 02:11 PM.

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#24 Dennimator

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Posted 12 November 2009 - 03:59 PM

What the.. They are nursing bikes in the Dacta set?!? :laugh:

#25 Zorbas

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Posted 12 November 2009 - 06:54 PM

Great article Brickster

I also believe that TLG should release a decent hospital. I think it's about time.

7892 is not a good result I think. The whole structure is like a castle -blame the baseplate mostly for that- and some elements just don't work.
The ramp, the stairs(!), everything look as if they are thrown there just to have a set and forward-finish off the "Release of a new Hospital Set Project" from TLG.

On the other hand, the 6380 is still one of my most wanted sets, a set that never made it to Greece. :sad:

O.K, it may look a bit plain, simple and small for some (not me for sure :wink:  :blush: ) but I think that it can be the basis of a hospital in the future. It has an ambulance, it's flat (at least the reception-first aid) and it has the looks of a hospital.

I would really love to see the release of a new hospital, whether this is a CITY line one or a modular. (...just imagine that last...)
If you ask me, I pick the first one.

If we take a look at the last Police Station, we can see that TLG could release a great hospital of this size and space - meaning rooms, offices and other hospital facilities.

There is a related topic about hospitals here btw.


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That 9364 Dacta set.... If only I could get my fingers on it... :devil:
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Thanks again for bringing this up Brickster.
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