Thursday 23 February 2012

Health Care

The big news in this part of the country is that the Health Quality Council of Alberta released a report that says our health system is in the toilet. People have died waiting for surgery, doctors have been paid and or threatened into keeping quiet about political interference and the emergency room waits are just horrendous. Big surprise on all of the above!

None of this is a surprise to anyone that has had need of the health care system, or those that were around when health care was functioning. I tend to be something of a conspiracy theorist and think that the Alberta government has intentionally sabotaged the health system in order to pave the way for an American style pay-as-you-go system. I firmly believe this, but for the life of me I can’t see how the politicians will benefit from giving us a poorer quality of care. I suppose that it could be argued there would be a lot of graft and could make these scumbags rich. It seems so shortsighted.

My daughter had to take Hurricane to the hospital last night because he was complaining about how much his ears hurt him. There is a hospital about five minutes away from her place, but instead she drove 30 miles to the town of Strathmore. It is just a small country hospital and I guess there are fewer people drawing on the resources there. Hurricane is fine by the way and with the miracle drug of Tylenol and a prescription of antibiotics he should have a full recovery. Arwen is a little worse for wear since she didn’t sleep and had to put in a full day. Poor baby! I guess the point I am trying to make is that she would have been waiting four hours in the city and she was back home in an hour and a half going to the country. There is something wrong there.

Louise was sick in Canmore once and we went to the hospital there. We filled out the paperwork, sat in the waiting room, were seen by the doctor and filled the prescription in about 45 minutes. Even if we had to drive the hour to get there it would still be faster than a city hospital. I just don’t understand why it is so hard to cut down wait times in the emergency ward. They could take a hint from the grocery stores. When there is a line at the checkouts in a store they open up another checkout until the line disappears. If there are a lot of people in the emergency ward, call in doctors from other floors and have them clear the backlog. Perhaps they could have three or four doctors assigned to the emergency ward and if they aren’t needed, they could go and do some other doctoring in the hospital. Yes, it is very simplistic, but perhaps that is the approach that is needed.

I have a nephew that is a doctor. I believe he originally wanted to be a general practitioner, but the cost of schooling was so great that if he ever wanted to pay off the loans he had to become a specialist. Why is that? The fees could be paid and a contract with the doctor made that he would have to practice for a certain number of years in this region. Not only would we have doctors, but also this method would open up the possibility of allowing students that wanted to go into medicine but didn’t have the money into the program.

I know I don’t know all of the difficulties involved with our health system and what I propose probably wouldn’t work. However, I sat down for a few minutes and came up with a couple of solutions and quite frankly, I am not that smart. If some really intelligent people got together and had the will to change the system that we know, then it wouldn’t be that hard. I guess part of the problem is that they find it hard to talk to each other and think straight while they are busy filling their pockets and bank accounts.

I am sure there is a solution and I hope the powerful people work it out by the time I or my loved ones need hospital care.

1 comment:

  1. If it makes you feel better, things are just as bad here on Van. island. B