I’ve been seeing a lot of complaining lately about our hospital and its wait times.
First of all, let me say that coming from a city where a 12-16 hour wait to see a doctor is the norm, not the exception, I am floored to see so many grievances. I’ve been to our hospital countless times and I can honestly say that the most I’ve ever waited was 3 hours. I’m usually in and out within 1 to 1.5 hours.
Now maybe that’s because I’m lucky, but maybe it’s simply because I don’t visit the hospital unless absolutely necessary?
Our health system is based on priority care. If you are visiting the EMERGENCY, it should be because you have a condition that cannot wait. When I took my son there after he had a skateboarding incident and broke his foot, which was dangling to the right at the end of his leg, practically unattached to it, they took him in a room right away and didn’t even ask me for his card until after he was in.
When I visited because I was having chest pains and thought it was a heart attack, they pulled me out of triage and set me up on an ECG right away.
However, when I visited because my 5 year old had a rash, I waited longer.
I know there are not many walk-in clinics in Cornwall, which means that there is automatically a wait regardless of where you go, but if you choose to go to the ER for the sniffles rather to your family doctor if you have one, please don’t complain that more urgent cases are seen ahead of you. If you do, you really don’t know how good we have it here, in Canada.
While visiting family in Texas last summer, my son got a rash. Yes, that same rash I ended up having him seen for here, upon my return.
I took him to a clinic first. A nurse practitioner diagnosed him with scabies. It didn’t look at all like scabies to me, but what do I know? I’m not a doctor. $584 later–$400 for the visit and a whooping $184 in ointment–he got worse. I called my insurance company back and asked if he could see a doctor. They sent me to a hospital.
$2500 later–$1800 for the ER, $600 for the doctor and $100 medication, he was diagnosed with impetigo. It didn’t look like impetigo to me, but what do I know? I’m not a doctor. Nonetheless, I suggested it could perhaps be Poison Ivy? “It could be,” the doctor answered. “It could be.”
Not very reassuring. They still treated him for impetigo.
Turns out it was Poison Ivy.
That whole incident in the wonderful U S of A would have ran me a over $3000 US Dollars (That’s 4000 or our dollars) for a wrong diagnosis. And I still waited. I waited probably more than I ever waited at our wonderful ER.
Our system is not perfect, I know that. But we are lucky that whenever we are sick or even just worried about being sick, we can walk into a clinic or an ER and be seen by a qualified doctor for FREE! I know, you may have to wait, spend time being a bit bored, but think about it! It doesn’t cost you a penny! Not a cent! Zip! Nada! There is even WIFI at our hospitals now, bring a phone, a tablet or a laptop. Play a video game or two, do some work even. If you feel like being in a waiting room is a waste of your precious time, then perhaps you shouldn’t be there. And if you’re just impatient because you feel you’ve waited enough, bare in mind that more urgent cases are being tended to, lives are being saved!
We’re lucky that health care is a right in Canada, not a luxury like it is in so many other countries! Cherish that! Appreciate that! Think about THAT next time you’re waiting.
And for crying out loud, PLEASE quit complaining!