Crisis in health care can’t be denied
The way I see it, those who do not have a family doctor have several options:
• Call 811 - In many cases, however, a diagnosis can’t be determined over the phone.
•Visit a walk-in clinic - But there is no guarantee you will even be registered that day because the doctor must set a maximum on the number of patients he or she can see per day and they don’t make appointments. A very inconvenient solution for a person who has to take time off work or pay a babysitter while attempting to receive health care.
• Visit the emergency dept at the Cape Breton Regional Hospital (because most other emergency departments are closed) – Once there you may wait up to 10 hours just to get into the treatment area.
• Call 911 when your condition worsens - Then an ambulance (if there are any available that day) can take you to the emergency department where a paramedic is required to stay with you (tying up their ambulance) until someone at the hospital can find enough time to process you.
Health Minister Randy Delorey’s most recent solution is to give financial incentives to encourage staff to work extra shifts and more hours. That’s not a great solution for three reasons:
* Many aging doctors cannot retire or even take time off because they feel an obligation to their patients.
* Health-care professionals have already requested a better “work/ life” balance.
* Patients will wind up being by an overworked and exhausted team of health-care professionals.
Replacing hospitals with community health-care centres is not a solution at this time. The main priority now should be retaining the professionals we have. In order to do this, we have to overcome a lot of obstacles and work with them to find solutions. How can we attract new staff when we can’t keep the staff we have now?
Some politicians need to admit our health care is in crisis. They need to consult with people on the frontline and they need to stop ignoring concerned citizens. I hope I encourage others to speak out publicly. You may have a family doctor right now and you may not require health care right now, but realize your life can change in an instant.