Sunday, 30 November 2014

Broken Systems

The medical system here in Quebec is broken and it has been for a long time.  I had some hope that the new health minister, being a doctor himself, would work to change things but it's getting worse, not better.

For example, in Montreal a new "super-hospital" is being constructed in order to consolidate several other hospitals to supposedly save money in the long run.  However a few weeks ago it was decided to change the plans: instead of the super-hospital having its own dialysis ward, the  existing units would be spread among other regional hospitals.  This move has the potential of leaving hundreds of dialysis patients without access to necessary equipment.

And then there's the plight of the mother of a dear friend of mine.  She recently posted this to Facebook:

"My mother suffered a heart attack Friday.  She was sent to the hospital which treats cardiac cases, Hotel Dieu.  Unfortunately, Mom must have daily dialysis, but Hotel Dieu has NO DIALYSIS MACHINE!  She has to wait about 48 hours to receive the materials needed to perform the dialysis manually.  It took a huge blow-up from both my sister and me for the nephrologist (who was coming from St. Luke Hospital as Hotel Dieu is unfamiliar with her specific case) to order what they need for the dialysis, and they transferred it by TAXI.  They did not even want her personal machine to be brought from home, because the machine would likely be stolen if left unattended."

This is merely one example of dozens that have played out in recent years.  Many patients can't get access to surgery, equipment, or specialist care within a reasonable amount of time.  Doctors are hobbled by patient quotas and salary caps.  People are being turned away from hospitals if their home address is not in the correct neighbourhood.  Nurses and doctors alike are overworked: one suburban hospital has only ONE doctor available at night for 500 beds.

And now the provincial government wants to invoke austerity measures that include cuts to health services. Yesterday there was a huge citizen protest through the downtown streets.  You can't cut what is already pared down to the bone.

Don't get sick.

1 comment:

  1. I hope our Obamacare system doesn't get those problems.