I am writing to express my sheer horror at the state of our town’s health care system. My father was recently admitted to the Cornwall hospital. This 79 year old man has contributed 60 years of hard work and taxes to the community, during which he rarely fell ill or required any health care.
Recently he has become unable to walk due to back pain, a flare-up from a previously acquired back injury. After having been bedridden for two weeks (unable even to reach the bathroom to relieve himself), he was admitted to the hospital upon his third visit due to elevated blood INR levels.
He has been transferred from room to room several times during his stay because, he was told, other patients needed these rooms. I went to visit my father and was given his room number, only to find another man occupying the room. No staff member I asked knew where he was; it is extremely disturbing that a hospital could essentially lose a patient, not keeping track of where he had been moved. After searching frantically, I discovered that he had been transferred yet again, his new ‘room’ consisting of a corner in a hallway with a free-standing screen for privacy, a teacher’s bell on his bedside table and a blue garbage bag as his closet. Upon my arrival my father asked me to change him out of the hospital gown into his own clothes, as he was uncomfortable being seen by the constant flow of people passing through the hallway. Enclosed with this letter are photos of my father’s hospital room.
I must say that the hospital’s treatment of the elderly is appalling. To have worked and contributed to a community for several decades and to be disregarded as unimportant and a nuisance is intolerable, and a hospital stay the likes of my father’s is inexcusable.
Bonnie Paulin – Cornwall Ontario