The health care system is seemingly collapsing unto itself, or rather imploding, if you will, in Canada. With examples of such issues as people dying in emergency rooms while awaiting care to people needing to hospital shop to get any kind of assistance, even when in pain has sparked all kinds of debate about where Canada’s health care system is headed and whether we are really any better off than less popular health care systems, such as what they have in the US.
Now, I frequently make a point of mentioning in my posts that I’m not a doctor. And I’m not. I’ve learned a lot over the course of my life since, as a Type-1 Diabetic, those who fail to learn and adapt usually don’t live for very long. I’ve had to read and learn things from the medical profession that the average citizen should never have to. After all, we HAVE actual doctors who are supposed to know all that shit for us, right? The problem is that all that knowledge doesn’t usually get put into practice and sometimes, you have to fight for your right to stay alive…
Staff shortages, burnout and lack of overall resources have caused a significant exodus of availability in the health care world over the past few decades. As a child, I remember that a visit to the doctor’s office was an all-morning thing, since the appointment in and of itself would usually take roughly an hour. My childhood doctor, may he Rest In Peace, would often take the time to ask about dietary habits, daily habits, elimination as WELL as how I was feeling. These days, you wait hours to sit in a tiny room with a doctor who expects you to spit out the problem so they can jot down a prescription and have you on your way. Welcome to the fast-food era of medicine!
As with all things, it would be wrong to paint all doctors with this same brush. My current doctor, whom I haven’t seen in almost four years, mind you, is wonderful and takes the time to address my concerns once I’m in the exam room. That being said, I’ve never waited any less than a full hour AFTER my scheduled appointment to see her, which often leads to frustration and impatience. It’s systematic of what has slowly grown into a serious issue in Canada with trying to see a doctor and getting the help one needs.
One good example is at the beginning of the year when I took a punch to the rib cage and has allegedly fractured a rib. I was at the doctor’s office three times over the course of a month and all he would do is keeping giving me stronger painkillers and muscle relaxants. On the last visit, I finally got upset enough that I told him we should be trying to figure out what’s wrong as opposed to just masking the symptoms. He agreed to ultrasound my kidneys. My KIDNEYS. Despite the injury being high up in the rib cage.
It can be angering and frustrating to try and navigate those waters, especially if you’re in rough shape and are trying to get help to feel better. There is a bit of a line with people who will sit in the ER waiting to see a doctor for non-emergent issues. This causes unnecessary delays as well but if walk in with an open wound or a serious injury, one should not expect to lie on a gurney for six hours before someone comes and just checks your blood pressure.
It’s become a sad state of affairs when I’ve had to tell my family, “Don’t get sick! We can’t go waiting in the hospital for a full day just to get generic meds.” There may or may not have been some suggestion that even if they break a rib, I’d be setting the bone myself rather than trying to navigate our current health care system. A sad state of affairs, indeed. For an industry that despises it when people consult Dr. Google, this may be the only recourse people have for many of these things.
I’m not a doctor. And I can’t even pretend to fathom the things they deal with and the things they see. I also recognize that resource shortages and burnout are very real things. While we’ve grown as a society, things have advanced, which means medical help should be getting better and more advanced, as well. At the rate things are going, we’re slowly slipping back to the dark ages where getting sick was essentially a death sentence. ☯️