The Telegraph is running a series to see how good our hospitals are and says there's significant variations in standards although the bush generally gets a good mention. Around here Forbes gets a tick for best meals while Young has the cleanest toilets. Orange Hospital is rated sixth best in NSW for avoiding bugs like golden staph. The newspaper says Royal Prince Alfred in Camperdown and St Vincent's in Darlinghurst are the two best city hospitals and an Orange bloke who reckons he's some kind of expert agrees. Like many people he suffers from fear of hospitals, or what the experts call nosocomephobia, and hadn't darkened the doors of one of these places for most of his life, even to visit sick friends. But the time came 18 months ago when he was dragged kicking and screaming to Orange Hospital Emergency Department for checks on his ticker for a shortage of breath. It was that or face the alternative, which is never good. He tells the story that he was smothered with attention by doctors and nurses and the end result after an angiogram was him being flown to Sydney's RPA in what he skited was a Citation jet with two pilots and a nurse. Five star travel. 10/10. The attention in RPA was the same as in Orange. Bright surroundings unlike what he thought hospitals should be like and friendly staff running around sticking in cannulas, taking tests and hooking up jumper leads and God knows what else to monitor before cardiologist surgeons put a stent in his heart via a wire through the wrist. And when it was all over our big sook was so relieved he thought that all his Christmases had come at once when he was finally wheeled back to his room still wondering 'is that all?" Now he's just spent the last 12 days in St Vincent's and says the care and the friendliness was like being in a tourism resort. Well almost. The anaesthetists knowing about his childhood horror with ether chatted to him about Orange and Food Week and the next thing he knew was waking up five hours later in recovery. Job done. He says the doctors were great, the nurses friendly and helpful and the food was four star like Weetbix, scrambled eggs and grilled tomato for breakfast and sweet and sour chicken with vegetables and icecream for dinner. He can't believe how different the experiences have been from the terrifying time years ago at the old Orange Base when he was strapped to the operating table and put under with ether to have his tonsils out. He's now convinced hospitals aren't really torture chambers and says Orange people and people everywhere should be really proud of the highly-efficient medical and nursing staff who work in them. They can take a bow for the excellent things they're doing to keep us all healthy. As for himself, he says a huge black cloud has lifted and he's in awe of the health system we have and can't believe people complain. Fred's old Holden ute breaks down out near Mt Canobolas so he and Bill decides to walk for help. "I'll take the car seat in case we get tired and we can sit down," Fred says. "OK," says Bill. "I'll take a car door so we can wind the window down if it gets hot."