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The Waiting Room (2012)

Not Rated | | Documentary | 29 April 2014 (Netherlands)
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Go behind the doors of an American public hospital struggling to care for a community of largely uninsured patients.


5 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »
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The Waiting Room is a character-driven documentary film that uses extraordinary access to go behind the doors of an American public hospital struggling to care for a community of largely uninsured patients. The film - using a blend of cinema verité and characters' voice over - offers a raw, intimate, and even uplifting look at how patients, executive staff and caregivers each cope with disease, bureaucracy and hard choices. It is a film about fighting for survival when the odds are stacked against you. Written by Anonymous

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24 hours. 241 patients. One stretched ER. See more »




Not Rated


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Release Date:

29 April 2014 (Netherlands)  »

Also Known As:

Čekaonica  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$7,086 (USA) (28 September 2012)


$244,092 (USA) (10 May 2013)

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Did You Know?


Featured in The 2013 Film Independent Spirit Awards (2013) See more »

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User Reviews

Believe it or not, this film is a rosy view of the situation.
9 January 2015 | by (NYC) – See all my reviews

I gave this film a 5/10 for at least showing some of the reasons why US healthcare is such a depressing mess. However, having worked in two of the nation's busiest ERs where everyone is uninsured or on inadequate government aid, this portrait is not realistic. The patients here are understanding of the long waits and passive, the nurses sassy and easy- going, the doctors compassionate and caring. No. This is not real life. In real life, the ER is a dumping ground (as evidenced in this film by the man who expected to receive dialysis in the ER)--violent autistic teenagers, nursing home patients, the addicts, the homeless. Nowhere else for them to go. Walk in patients are sick and afraid and weary of all the buck-passing because they have no insurance. Add to that the long wait times and it's not hard to imagine the rage they feel and the violence that occurs necessitating fleets of security guards. Nurses are overworked, overextended, and sick of being the bullseye for all blame. Docs generally do their best but there are problems with communication, lack of experience and exhaustion. Compassion fatigue is a major problem for anyone who works in a city ER. Patients don't move because of the dearth of other facilities--detox/rehab, long term care and mental heath, eg, not to mention the ever dwindling number of primary care providers. Beds in our ER are regularly taken by alcoholics and addicts "sleeping it off" because it's below zero outside and sending them away is a death sentence, but the sick are kept waiting. Everywhere you turn it's a Catch 22. This film presents a sort of "brave and genial in the face of adversity" attitude that I've never seen; there is more chaos, rage and despair over a healthcare system that will never work in its present incarnation and must be razed and re-created. Sorry for the soapbox.

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