You Go There To Die

By  | June 24, 2012 | 1 Comment | Filed under: Politics

The number of times I’ve heard that phrase over the past forty years, used to describe Cambridge Memorial Hospital, is beyond me.  How can an organization of healers get such a bad reputation?  Is it because of individuals who manage to administer the place into the ground time and again?  Is it because of incompetent healers who do more harm then good?  Is it because of the endless regulations they all have to uphold in order to do their work?  Or is it because of the way Canada’s medical system has been designed to function, in general?

Anyway, my mom decided to have a lung taken out. All those years living in the filthy air of Hamilton finally caught up with her.  That, or the tobacco, probably a little of both.  The folks down at St. Mary’s Hospital in Kitchener were awesome, and they waited over her hand and foot when she came out of recovery and went to intensive care.  She had the run of the place;  4 technicians and nurses stationed in her area, a physician as well, all there for her.

Patients came and went but she stayed;  it seems that there were no available ward beds so she got to hang out in ICU for four days.  I’m glad that OHIP picked up that tab; it wasn’t the most cost-effective treatment the hospital had ever given, to be sure.  It took a month to get the biopsies back, technicians are so hard to keep in Canada these days, and they live with the epic backlog. That’s not the nurses fault or the doctors fault, it’s just the way the system has been designed to work.  About a month later her heart decided to give her some grief, as well. Back down to St. Mary’s where everyone remembered her in the ICU.  They kept her overnight to watch her stats, and let her come home.

So, last Monday (at the time of writing) she needed help, and because of a good Samaritan, an ambulance arrived to take her to Cambridge Memorial Hospital’s emergency ward.  What a dump.  I can’t believe the working conditions that the healers down there have to put up with.  Case in point; I got hit by a car a couple of winters ago;  they wound up diagnosing me in a broom closet twice the size of the gurney I was laying on.

Apparently the incorrect examinations were performed on my mom; they sent her home with a blood thinner to prevent stroke.  If I take the time to diagnose something in my field of work then I normally come up with the right answer.  If I don’t take the time, I can screw up.  If you’re a doctor with a overload of patients on your hands, you don’t always have the luxury of time to make a thorough evaluation, this isn’t a television hospital drama.

Now, because the incorrect tests were done in the first place, we now have additional doctors fitting her into their schedules so they can get the right tests done.  A great way of burning up tax dollars needlessly is the feeling I get when I think about this whole scenario.

I see a problem here.  I live in a country where every time you go to a hospital you have to register, and re-register, time and again.  I see healers overloaded with work, it’s no wonder they leave in droves to our money-rich neighbour to the south;  you might as well make a killing if you’re going to burn yourself out working for a living.  I see a medical system where getting a patient’s vital data from one medical facility to another seems to be require a Herculean effort.   I should have been able to walk to the local Shoppers Drug Mart and pick up an oxygen tank the day I brought her home from her first visit, if she needed it, without it costing the government $10,000 in overhead and labour costs. There is no way Canadian Medicine will ever be that integrated, in it’s current state.

Like food and housing, medicine is a requirement of every human.  Yet we put a price on this basic necessity of life that is far too high for many.  Too high for one is too many.  Because of this, the structure and execution of our medical system conflicts with the very laws of survival; which is why our medical ‘System’ does not work, and never will.

It is time the right of all Canadians to be healthy supersedes all other concerns; the liberties of this industry’s commerce need to be redefined.  The greed and injustices inherent to capitalism must be forced to take a back seat to socialism; it cannot be allowed to continue crippling our democracy, our liberty, and our humanity itself.

The System doesn’t need an upgrade; it needs to be replaced.

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One Response to You Go There To Die

  1. Brett Hagey June 26, 2012 at 3:58 pm

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