Do you want to live in a Soylent Green Kind of World – Medicare, Eldercare, and you. Editorial – Jamie Gilcig – Cornwall Ontario – May 25, 2010

Cornwall ON – Isn’t it horrible when you dread going to a hospital whether as a patient or for a loved one or friend?   I got the call Monday morning.   Heart attack.  The person called 911 and made it to the hospital quickly where two angioplasties were inserted into the artery and the flow of blood returned.

15, 20, 25 years ago and this person would most likely have died and this simple and now routine procedure had them up and walking within hours.   Amazing.

So as I enter the hospital I lather up with the antiseptic at the entrance and walk through the crowded emergency room.   All is not well in our hospitals (this one was in Montreal) and if you look closely you can see some of the issues.

First off most of the people I saw in the emergency didn’t really look like they belonged there.   Now I know I’m not a MD, but I’m not a dumb dumb either.

Reading hospital materials while spending hours waiting I read how the hospital has banned staff from wearing jewelry while on duty to protect the spread of super bugs.  Nurse in our room was wearing multiple rings.

The other patient in the room had over eight children, and I do mean children, visiting their loved one, plus adults, and this on a heart patient floor.   Screaming babies and heart attack victims are not the best combinations.

There was also the bruising of poorly delivered blood test attempts.    Now I know that some of this may sound petty, but when you’re in the eye of the storm it can be scary.   When it’s your loved one that an error is made on it’s scary too.

We need to do more to make hospital care less of a lottery situation, and while driving into Montreal on Sunday I listened to Lowell Green doing a repeat show on the situation of Seniors who fall through the cracks of our medical system and that shook me to the core.

There’s a saying that the mark of a civilization is how their elders are treated.   Do we really want to live in a Soylent Green kind of world?

The people working in our hospitals do such a good job.   I think they need our help to make the system better.   We need to help them do the job they trained to do and that’s save lives, our lives.

What do you think Canada?  Is it time to save Medicare and find a solution to how we take care of our society; after all we’re all a part of it?   You can post  your comments below.

Jamie Gilcig – Editor – The Cornwall Free News


  1. Oh how I can relate. I just spent the day in St. Eustache hospital with my father who had a hip replacement 3 weeks ago, and now has an infection that has spread to his blood. He is 78 and I took him home with me last week because he was miserable in the hospital and we figured he’d recuperate better with loved ones.

    For weeks now, he had been complaining about incontinence, problems with his right shoulder, and feeling disoriented. The nurses themselves thought he was confused and asked me if he had dementia. He doesn’t. Turns out fever is probably what was making him delirious, and the incontinence probably due to a bladder infection. They thought he was just being difficult. Our elders are just not taken seriously.

    Today, we were in the ER for hours before he finally saw someone. Yes, there were real emergencies that needed immediate attention, but most of the people I saw there could probably have gone to a clinic. Then again, I’m no doctor either.

    I think we should all do our parts. And I think the emerg nurses at triage should be able to tell people if what they are seeking medical attention for is treatable outside of the hospital or if this is something that needs to be seen immediately. Heck, I even think they should turn around people if their “emergency” is not an emergency.

    Just my opinion!

  2. Hi Julia,

    That sadly is where the lawyers come into play. If a hospital turn someone away then they could be liable if anything happens to them. I think it’s time to stop “culling the herd” and for people to tell the government what they want and if they want healthcare instead of sending soldiers to Afghanistan at $500K each per year then perhaps that’s what needs to be done.

    We’re seeing hospital and service cuts here in Cornwall and try and find a GP? Or how many people now need to travel to Ottawa for services?

    There’s so much voter apathy out there that if Apathy was a candidate in most elections it’d win. People need to realize that each and every vote counts and their voices do matter.

    Hope your dad gets better and lucky for him that he has family that care. Sadly there are an awful lot of people who by the time they get older won’t have that family support.

  3. Our health care is now only third to Italy and Germany. We are on a huge downward spiral.
    My SO had a few different surgeries over the past few years and each was an eye opening experience. Taken into the hospital by ambulance early in the morning bent over with sever abdominal pain. The Dr at the time administered a pain reliever to help with the discomfort. That was at 6am, around 8 am the shifts change and we had to explain the whole situation over again. We waited over 12 hrs in emergency because the pain killer had eliminated the symptoms and nobody could determine what had happened. Later that same evening the pain returned and following x-rays a prognosis was given. Everything turned out ok, but the procedure was a bit odd. Why provide pain killers until you have at least triaged the patient?
    Following the surgery from this instance the nurse brought in a pan towels and soap telling them “ if you can clean yourself off you can go home”

    In another instant in Alberta we had just moved out there. My SO was again rushed in for abdominal pain. The prognosis was unclear however the appendix was enlarged. We had to decide if it was to be removed not the Dr. The patient was moved around from room to room pre surgery and post that I couldn’t find them each time I took the kids out for dinner or just to get out and about. We showed up just before surgery to wish them well and low and behold had to walk them to OR after stopping to pick up another person due for surgery.

    Another family member was brought in by ambulance recently, senior person, at or shortly before dinner. There was a fair amount of people in emergency at the time in other beds. After speaking with the Dr it was decided they were to stay until morning. The person was hungry and there was no food for any of the patients . A nurse offer her lunch and it was accepted graciously by a hungry patient.

  4. If we were to go the “Soylent Green” route, then the statement that “Farmers Feed Cities” would not necessarily be true.

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