Friday, January 05, 2007

Our Healthcare System

While many people complain about the system, I wanted to share my most recent experience (both positive and negative).

First, our little boy developed a runny nose on Boxing Day. Nothing new there. He was exposed to his cousin who was a wee bit sick. He didn't require any real medication, jhust needed his nose wiped.

On New Year's Eve, he developed a rather high temperature. To the point where he was so hot, it actually scared us, but after administering a little children's Tylenol, it came down and he was running around.

The fever was on and off all week until Thursday we called Telehealth, the free advice/triage service provided by the Ministry of Health.

This is the positive part. The nurse at telehealth (Leanne) was super helpful, told me to check for other symptoms and basically allayed a lot of our fears. I love this service. We have used it three times since our first child was born, and every time it has been a first class experience. I am looking forward to the day when they use computer cameras to help with diagnosis. :-)

Now the negative: Telehealth told us that since the fever had lasted so long, we should see a doctor if the fever hadn't broke by today. This morning came and the fever was pretty bad.

So we called our family doctor's ofice and was told in no uncertain terms that the best they could do ws next Tues and if we were really worried we could go to our local emergency room (our town doesn't have a walk in clinic).

We arrived at the ER at 11:45, we were triaged right away, with vitals being taken and we were asked to wait, and wait and wait. It is now 1:45 and we have yet to see a doctor.

Now I am the first to rail against thoise who clog up the ER for the common cold, but we were instructed to come here AND the kicker is, there are very few patients in the ER. Something is really wrong with this system.

Unfortunately, I don't know what the answer is?!? More money now won't get us more doctors. Is our ER staff just on lunch? Is this a work to rule thing for a labour dispute I am unaware of, or is it just this difficult to see more than one patient an hour.

I would be more than willing to pay extra to have someone look at my sick child right away.


Tomorrow... the outcome.

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