As I continue to scan through various medical publications I grow increasingly depressed. Despite our technological advances stories of patient mismanagement and or neglect seem to be increasing. I am not talking about medical mismanagement due to lack of diagnostic or management acumen, I am talking of the inability of our system to adequately deal with the problems due to mismanagement of resources. The present method of dealing with the inadequacy of the system is to ration health care. Let me state that in another way. The gross inadequacies in our health care system are dealt with by rationing. Of course no politician or administrator would call it that. They prefer to pretend that the obscenely lengthy waiting times are due to shortage of physicians, or nurses, or other health care personnel. Any such shortages are directly due to their policies.
Let me give you one example of the outcome of health care rationing, published recently in a medical newspaper. The writer is a family doctor and she refers to her patient and family by actual name indicating that they were aboard with publishing the story. The story should be extensively shared with Canadians, most of whom are under the impression that they still have a competent, caring health care system, second to none, whereas in fact we have at best a second rate system heading to become a third rate one. The patient, something of a minor celebrity, found blood in her urine in October of 2017. She consulted her doctor who despite her concerns could not get an appointment for her to have a cystoscopy to look into her bladder and make a diagnosis. Incredibly, it took until spring of 2018 for this to be carried out. At that point there was too much blood to make a definitive diagnosis but an infection was thought to be the problem and the patient was put on a six week course of antibiotics, after which she was to have a follow-up cystoscopy and a CT of the kidney. The antibiotics did not help. She became weak and anorexic, lost weight and slept most of the day. The family became so alarmed with the time it was taking to adequately investigate the disease that they paid for a private CT (technically illegal in Canada!) and she was diagnosed with Cancer. Another wait for a biopsy and yet another to see an oncologist. The final diagnosis was that she had originally had a bladder cancer, that had spread to her kidneys. She died on October 1st 2018, quite likely due to a dysfunctional health care system.
No government official, even of the lowest rank would have been treated in this manner. So much for equality of treatment in a country that claims to provide equality of treatment for all of its citizens, but makes it illegal for people to pay for private health care. (Unless they are rich enough to go to the United States). This is a gross infringement of charter rights. A blended system works well in Australia and most of the developed countries, improves the accessibility of health care for most of the population and injects additional resources into health care.
It's time for Canadians to get 'woke' about health care !
You have your own story of health care failure? Share them.