Cornwall ON – You really get to see how dysfunctional the medical system is when you’re in its maw. It’s one thing to “investigate” a story or interview people, and another when it’s you or a loved one in the emergency ward as I had the privilege to do Monday night.
A loved one had a tumble on a ATV, and I left city council early to get to the hospital. Sure enough she’d had an X-ray by the time I got there, but then waited nearly six hours lying in a bed while other patients lied in their beds and the ward filled up to the point where some were in the hallways. Why? Why were these people waiting and the room filling up? Because there was only one doctor on duty Monday night according to staff and my own observations.
Now Cornwall is really lucky. We have a terrific hospital. The nurses are great and the Doctors rarely not great. It’s clean and essentially well run. The problem? The system not funding it properly.
So patients that were critically rushed in had to be dealt with first, and then everyone else waited and the hospital filled up. That’s dangerous until itself. My loved one had two stalls near her with contagious warnings on them. The noise and stress on the nursing staff seemed pretty much unjust, but the true injustice was of course to the patients.
A second doctor visited and said the Xrays were ok, but was bewildered why the first doctor hadn’t done other tests to check for internal injury? So more tests had to be done and by the time all was said and done the visit turned into nearly 24 hours. Of course until the tests were confirmed medication had to be withheld so my loved one stayed in pain all this time.
Lost time; lost productivity for patients and their loved ones. Extra costs for the system that is suffering from extra costs.
One doctor’s neglect; probably from rushing, caused a long delay. That ward that night probably needed 2 or 3 more doctors.
But watching it all go down I couldn’t help but think about how many people suffer or even worse die at the hands of this system, and how hard it is for those that work in it.
Kudos to the staff of our hospital, and what will it take for people to realize the number one issue facing all of us is medical services and that we have to make the system and those at the top of it accountable?
What do you think Cornwall and Canada? You can post your comments below.