- August 30th, 2013
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It appears that my last post is among my most popular – and for good reason. While I did not write that (it really was from my mother-in-law) it was linked to on several big sites, and printed in the provincial paper.
You would think that much exposure would bring some changes for the better.
You would be wrong.
My father-in-law was recently scheduled for surgery in Halifax, to repair the arteries in his neck that caused the stroke to begin with. This is scheduled for approximately two weeks from now. He is still getting regular checkups with his family doctor, just to keep things in the clear. The infection in his foot was cleared up about two weeks ago, but has recently resurfaced.
His doctor contacted the health minister, and got a signed letter from the federal government stating that he will be getting treatment at the Tyne Valley medical center, regardless of their status – but he would have to pay for the medication.
For those of you outside Canada, this is not how medical services work here.
When his doctor contacted them indicating that he will need further treatment, and provided the letter, his medical insurance covered the cost of the medication. Then he was told by the nurse at the medical center that she would not administer the IV, because the resident nurse did not authorize doing so.
His doctor – who has been a hero through all of this – told him to return to her office for the treatment, and she would administer it by injection. She is not permitted to administer an IV in her office, as it is not technically a health care facility.
The problem is, the injection is not nearly as effective. So, he has two choices – take a less effective treatment, and risk it not having the desired effect in time for his surgery (which he needs to stay alive, and will be rescheduled if he retains the infection), or spend six hours a day driving back and forth to Summerside for an IV, which he cannot afford due to him not working because of the infection.
This essentially comes down to Health PEI deciding that if you don’t live in Summerside or Charlottetown, your life is not worth saving.
And even in Charlottetown, it’s not worth trying too hard to save – two ER doctors quit the other day due to incorrect procedures by the hospital. Hospital admins were pulling ER docs out because patients who had been admitted were waiting too long to see a doctor.
Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t that backward? Shouldn’t the admitted patients be left in the care of nurses who can keep them alive and comfortable – and page a doctor if one is needed – and the doctors be in the department where people go when they need to see a doctor now or they will die?
PEI is a wonderful place to visit, and I encourage you all to come here when you can. Just don’t get sick or injured while you’re here, whatever you do. The next time we need to visit the ER, we may just drive to Moncton instead – it would be faster, and we would be treated like patients rather than inconvenient bleeders.
I am attempting to reach Robert Ghiz – and I ask you all to do the same, his office phone number is 1-902-368-4400 – to talk about this with him. Not one of his aides, or assistants. I want to talk to the man himself, and find out what the hell he is doing.