Health Uncare System?

What follows is a rant. You may want to look away.

For years I’ve heard complaints about our health system and I always chalked them up to just more moaning about a free system. You have to understand where that statement comes from. I go to the doctor when… well, when bone is protruding through my skin, or when my family tells me it’s time. Regardless of the pain I may be feeling I always feel like I’m wasting the doctors time, that there are sicker people than I that need his attention.

See, I never lost that teenage indestructible mentality. Yes, I’ve seen the inside of the emergency room a number of times due to sports injuries and just plain stupidity on my part, but over the last several years I have seen, first hand, why people complain. Now I’m not saying, in any way, that ALL health professionals should be clumped in this rant, there have been a few I’ve dealt with that have been exceptional. I have heard good stories about great service but the bad ones are just plain scary. For the most part, if you can make it past the Emergency room, you are in good hands.

Now I won’t go into the whole Emergency Room debacle except to say that sitting in one you notice how many people in there would be better served going to a walk in clinic. AND by watching this crowd how I can almost justify the ‘You aren’t sick, you’re wasting my time’ attitude the some staff exhibit. Just ask my father-in-law, oh yeah, you can’t… without a Ouija board.

Where am I going with my finger-pointing, soapbox preaching? I had the pleasure to be forced into going to the walk in clinic, I’ve got a mysterious lump on my ribs my family (thanks, Bonnie, Grant and Mom) told me I should get checked out. Hurts like there should be a big bruise but there isn’t.

The clinic opened at 5pm and I arrived at about 4:45pm. When I got there the waiting room was already packed. I sat down to wait. I don’t mind waiting. I’m not impatient. I read every magazine in the waiting room… twice. I even made mental notes which ones I should send an article into and which ones Sue should send some photos to. I learned a lot about raising children from the Parenting magazine. I even chatted with a friend I hadn’t seen in a while. Turns out he likes audio books. Audio books is still books so you can see where this is going. Yep, I gave him my bookmark. Hey, self-promoting never sleeps.

It was during that conversation I got my call. Yipee! It was now 7:20pm. So off I go to wait another 20 minutes in the examine room for a doctor to say, ‘I’ve never seen that before. Go get an ultrasound tomorrow.’

All that waiting for a minute and a half and a slip of paper. Oh well it’s over and done. And I’m left thinking, ‘why the hell would they only have ONE doctor in a walk in clinic?? No wonder the Emergency rooms are packed.’

That was yesterday, so today I toddle off to the hospital. I’ve had ultrasounds before, separated shoulder and scoped knee, so I’m thinking, depending on the waiting room, I should be in and out in about 20 minutes right? Nope. Apparently my health is now categorized in with dental appointments, hair dresser appointments and car repairs, essentially it’s non-essential. I had to make an appointment. Yep, an appointment. Apparently whatever is wrong with me will wait dutifully for my ultrasound to roll around in two weeks.

And our government wants to institute a tiered health system ? They should focus instead on finessing the whole process so that the people in an actual EMERGENCY are the only ones in the Emergency room. That walk in clinics are better staffed to be that filter and that our doctors institute checkup appointments every six months or so like the dentists. After every visit to the dentist, they set up my next appointment, what a shocker eh? They feel this way they can keep an eye on my teeth and catch problems before they get too big. WOW! What a concept.

I know, it’s a solution that is too simple and there is WAY too much common sense involved for the government to even consider it. That and it didn’t cost millions of dollars in think-tank sessions.

Very early in my retail career they told me, ‘you piss off one person and you lose ten customers, make one person happy and you make one person happy.’ In today’s market run by accountants and green university students taught by the professor’s teaching assistants and with no real world experience, the first option makes more sense monetarily. They don’t have to pay skilled labour to piss people off and while they may lose a sale or two they’ll more than make that up in the money you’ve saved in salary. It’s a win win situation AND it looks good on the books.

Problem is, my health isn’t for sale. At least not yet. Oh and I while I’m there, I think I’ll splurge on the purple ultrasound with highlights even.

But that’s just my opinion.

Mine and my mysterious lump. redruM. Did you hear something?

About Dale Long

Writing ambushed me from the shadows. At first I pushed it aside as nonsense, but luckily my wife and two girls saw the potential. Since then I have had an article published by Metroland, placed as runner-up and in the top ten in humour writing contests and various other contests. The icing on the cake was placing as runner-up in the WCDR's Wicked Words contest (130 entries) and having my entry published in the contests anthology of the same name. My entry was an exerpt from my upcoming novel, Echoes.
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