Thursday, April 13, 2006

I Hate Our Health Care System!


So last night I went to the hospital under the precept that I had the Avian Flu. I was a little disappointed to hear that I had just the Norwalk Flu and instead would not be making the 6 o' clock news.

I arrived at a little passed midnight in probably the worst pain I've experienced in years. I was burning up and throwing up. I was so hot, I was laying on the hospital waiting room floor. AND it STILL took me 6 1/2 hours to be treated. The part that makes me the most upset, though, is that I was the only one in the waiting room!

Apparently there was only one doctor on duty, so I can understand there is only so much that can happen, but to be in that much discomfort for 6 1/2 hours is hardly acceptable. I lasted through it because I am young and healthy, but what about seniors or children? What about the person waiting for a kidney transplant or bone surgery? I cannot even begin to imagine their frustration waiting to be treated!

Our health care needs a real makeover! I'm tired of it. We need to be looking for innovative policy solutions that is applicable to our state in time. Personally, I think the best solution is to adopt a system like the French. Another thing I was thinking about to lift some of the pressure of the Emergency Departments, is to have the government set up clinics just next to the hospitals that are open 24 hours a day. There are a lot of people who don't need to be in the Emergency Department, but just go there because it's the only thing open. If clinics where just outside the hospitals, undoubtedly they would not be as exhausted.

But seriously, whatever works because right now the system bites. Nurses are underpaid, wait lists are too long, emergency rooms are backed up... Something needs to happen.

If you have an interesting idea on how to change our health care system for the better, write it down in the comments. I'm really interested to hear what the readership has in mind.

13 Comments:

At 9:15 PM, Blogger decoin said...

The Canadian health care systen as developed by Tommy Douglas is sacred and is what defines us as Canadians. Anybody who advocates any change to our beloved health care system is a traitor and is certainly not a Liberal. Any change whatsoever is traitorous and the system must never change. If those in need of care must wait a certain period of time for treatment that is the Canadian way and we will not ever agree to change or any type of American style health care system. I have listened to shirley Douglas on the TV and she is correct - we must never change our system in any way whatsoever. Those who advocate any change whatsoever are traitors, they are not Liberals and they should be incarcerated. Since you are in love with George Bush you should move to Scottsdale and enjoy the superior helth care there. We are Canadians and we will resist change to our sacred health care system forever. By the way there is nothing wrong with waiting 4-6 hours in an emergency department waiting room. Are you a baby?

 
At 9:17 PM, Blogger Pedro said...

Oh my God - chill out.

 
At 9:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, decoin just went completely nuts, on your blog nonetheless! Don't you feel special?

Anyways, about health care, I agree that something needs to be done. 2 tier isn't so scary, despite all of the fearmongering that is done on the topic (ie americanization... see decoin in comment #1). I am glad to see that you are looking at this objectively and that you haven't bought into the idea that 2 tier is evil. Most, if not all, of the best health care systems in the world are of the 2 tier variety. I think that Canada should turn in this direction, and with the recent court decision in Quebec, it is only a matter of time before similar decisions are made in the rest of Canada.

I am excited to see what is going to happen with our system as it transforms into something much more efficient.

 
At 9:59 PM, Blogger Pedro said...

Thanks Adam! It's nice to see someone who can think rationally on a subject.

If we want to see an area of policy become more efficient, we CANNOT be dogmatic. Dogma (as shown by Decoin) does nothing for the cause.

Me too, I am excited to see our system become more efficient.

 
At 7:39 AM, Blogger Prairie Kid said...

This "decoin" guy has posted many times before and I would hate to be left alone with him. His attitude towards anything other than Liberal is really scarry. I bet his mother took all the scissors out of his room cause I'm sure he still lives with his parents with an attitude like that.

Here's my take on healthcare. Maybe it's too simplistic:

There's a hospital and across the street is a private clinic. In front of the hospital is a lineup of 10 people waiting to get in. Me, as the private clinic owner, walks up to the lineup and says "anybody who wants to be looked at immediately come over to my place. It will either cost you or if you have insurance, we'll bill the insurance company. 5 people take me up on my offer. I have now cut the waiting list in half. The 5 remaining people waiting for hospital care are now waiting in half as much time. I should be treated as a hero, not a profit gouging right winged nut.

And for "decoin", if you don't think we have private care in our healthcare right now, next time you go into the hospital for an overnight stay, ask for a semi-private or a private room. Guess what the first question you're going to be asked. Do you have insurance? That's right. In our healthcare system we have private and public treatment. Are you going to be treated any less by sharing a room with 3 other people? Of course not. Am I jealous of the people in the private rooms? If I was, then I should be jealous of someone driving a Cadillac because I don't have one. I see anything wrong with extending this to all other areas of our healthcare system.

 
At 8:16 AM, Blogger Prairie Kid said...

Here's just an add on to those who think the American system is completely bad. (I'm not advocating the American system, just clarifying a point) There were 2 doctors on a local radio program who just came back from Arizona after spending several years at the prestigious Mayo Clinic. They said that they had at least 5 - 10 patients a week that they treated who had ABSOLUTELY NO HEALTHCARE INSURANCE! So this stuff about people dying in the streets because of no insurance is bogus and fear mongering by many left leaning people who will never embrace change because they are terrified of it.

 
At 8:58 AM, Blogger S.K. said...

You had a virus. There's nothing the health care system can do for you, unless you are a dehydrated infant or geriatric.

You shouldn't have been in emergency in the first place. Perhaps they were giving you a not so subtle message by leaving you waiting. You're a healthy young man with the flu don't come here.

You're risking the lives of people who really are in jeopardy if they catch a virus you brought into a health care facility.

Perhaps you could put your grandiose notions of bird flu aside the next time you catch a cold and drink fluids, stay in bed, take an analgesic and don't bother the emergency room staff.

Hopefully their message got through.

 
At 9:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is this a Liberal trait? Stick your head in the sand and the bad part of our healthcare system will go away? I can't believe these people. "How dare you not get sick you wimp". What kind of attitude is that? Here's the best part of healthcare insurance. Right now our healthcare is reactive not proactive. Don't bother us until you're really sick. If you have insurance, it's in the best interest of the insurance company to keep you alive as long as possible so you can keep paying those premiums. When a test comes along like an MRI, they encourage you to get yourself tested. They'll gladly pay for it because if the test finds something wrong, they think you'll change your lifestyle to correct the problem. Here in Canada if you want an MRI just to check on things, you have to pay for it yourself. Yes, there is room for private healthcare along with the public system. Just give it a chance.

 
At 11:34 AM, Blogger Pedro said...

Anon,

I agree with you - our health care system is sick care and not health care.

In a perfect world, I would love to see gym memberships paid for under our health care system. An ounze of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

 
At 11:42 AM, Blogger Pedro said...

PK,

I also agree with you - the American system has been badly demonized. True it is probably the worst system of the OECD countries, but still, people aren't left to die outside hospitals because they can't afford to come in!

What I hate the most about health care discussions is that people use generalizations, half chewed facts and dogma to discuss it.

The public needs to be more educated if we want to see better and more efficient results in our system.

And PK, I also agree with you - if someone who could afford treatement got it right away to shorten the line up for me, I would be glad - instead of waiting 2 weeks, I'd be waiting 1 week. This to me sounds like an enhancement to access.

 
At 11:50 AM, Blogger Prairie Kid said...

The most important thing we can do is open our minds to change. The worst thing we can do is do nothing. If we all felt the way decoin felt, we would still be using the Ford Model T with it's crank-to-start motor and open sides. Try using that in Winnipeg in January.

 
At 12:04 PM, Blogger Pedro said...

Haha!

 
At 12:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow--I'm late on commenting, but came across this and have to say that the American healthcare system is awful. Anyone that believes we Americans aren't left to suffer because we don't have health insurance is absolutely wrong. However, it isn't done so blatantly. What happens here is that you have no insurance, so you seek indigent care (yep, government sponsored healthcare is coined "indigent"), and the healthcare professional starts the process of sending you out the door. They send you here, they send you there, and you never actually arrive at a place where someone will offer treatment. Why? Because if the treatment isn't good, or if there are negative results, the healthcare professional is wide open to litigation. While you can't get healthcare easily without insurance, there is a lawyer on every street corner willing to take your case.

 

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