I wasn’t going to do this.
I really wasn’t. But then something happened to a friend of mine and it got my knickers in a knot and I know I’m going to be skimming over vast chunks of the actual issues, but please bear with me because I’m a little ranty at the moment. Incidentally, whenever I see the phrase “bear with me”, I get this picture in my head of a giant grizzly bear just, you know, hanging out with me. And then I think “that can’t be right,” and I try to change it to ‘bare with me’, and that’s a MUCH lovlier mental image, but not entirely right and I understand the phrase means ‘bear my burden with me’, but I can’t get those goddamned bears out of my head.
So recently, a friend of mine took ill. She took ill rapidly and had to be admitted to hospital with some kind of ridiculously contagious intestinal bug that resulted in her requiring IV fluids for the dehydration, and an actual stay in hospital. She ended up leaving before she was well and healed up because of an incident involving hospital beds in hallways, cleaning crews disturbing patients’ much-needed rest by using floor buffers in the middle of the night, total disregard of, in my opinion, basic patient care, and all of this as a result of the hospital not having enough beds for the patients who need care.
Let’s look for a moment at the reasons we go in to hospital. It’s not for a vacation. It’s not for a jaunty stay in a rejuvenating retreat. We go in to hospital because we’re really bloody sick. When was the last time you sat around the picnic table with your family and said, “you know, that steak was really good, but what I’d most like to do right now is get admitted to hospital. It’s just so *lovely* there.”? I won’t go in to too many details right now, but I’m sure you remember my extreme reticence to even consider delivering The Nipper in hospital.
Hospitals are in place to care for the ill and, hopefully, to help them get well. When there are contagious illnesses about, hospitals are supposed to be refuges for the ill and safe containment areas. Hospitals are supposed to be places where you can actually heal up. Hospitals are supposed to be staffed by enough people to provide that care. Hospitals are supposed to have on staff enough medical professionals to triage, assess, and evaluate patients in a timely and humane and ethical manner. There are supposed to be enough resources so that if you need care, you receive care.
They aren’t supposed to be goddamned frat houses with beds tossed into every corner because there isn’t enough bloody space to fit all the people who need attention into the wards.
Now I get that our province has grown rather rapidly. And I also get that Regina used to have three hospitals, but in a shocking move of utter stupidity, one was repurposed into an educational institution. And in another shocking move of utter stupidity, most of the hospital facilities in smaller, rural centres were shut down so that people needing hospital care in those centres have to be rushed in to city hospitals. WHERE THE URBAN DENSITY, AND THEREFORE PEOPLE REQUIRING MEDICAL CARE IS MUCH HIGHER.
You’re going to say “well, it was your chosen political party who made those asinine decisions”. THAT IS NOT THE POINT. The point is that no political party has a monopoly on asinine decisions. Case in point. We are currently, in this province, spending over 4.6 billion dollars on health care. Now, either that is not enough, or the spending we’re doing is all wrong because if we don’t have enough hospital beds to accommodate people who actually need medical care and attention, WE ARE DOING IT WRONG.
Should I mention the 10-12 month wait for psychiatric care? Should I mention the 12-16 month wait to see a specialist? Should I mention that people who work in hospitals are overworked, over scheduled, and have ridiculous schedules? Should I mention the number of nurses I’ve talked to who’ve quit because they aren’t willing to work 20 hour shifts anymore? Should I mention the specialists I’ve talked to who’ve said they won’t work in this province because the schedules are bordering on inhumane and the pay is paltry? Should I mention the people I’ve talked to who’ve spent hours and hours in hallways or broom closets, needing medical care, and having to wait while the ER staff has to deal with 200x capacity issues?
And yet. And yet, our provincial government wants to spend how much on building a stadium we don’t need? I’m all for support for sports. I think Canada in general has a SHAMEFUL history of being decidedly unsupportive of amateur sports. The federal government should be shelling out all KINDS of money for developmental and semi-pro sports programs. It would be really nice if our top atheletes could afford to eat AND train. It would be even nicer if the majority of Canadian children could access whatever sport interested them, regardless of how many luxury vehicles their parents owned (hockey, for instance, is prohibitively expensive for most families). But I’ve gone off on a tangent. I don’t have a problem with a sports stadium being built in Regina. I don’t even have a problem with municipal and provincial tax dollars being allocated toward it, provided it HAS A FREAKING ROOF.
But here’s the thing. If you don’t have enough freaking space in your freaking hospital for the freaking beds your freaking patients freaking need, don’t spend your freaking money on freaking stadia. And if you DO have enough freaking money to provide enough freaking space in your freaking hospital for freaking beds, then SPEND YOUR FREAKING MONEY RESPONSIBLY SO THAT YOU CAN MAKE SURE THE PEOPLE WHO PAY FREAKING TAXES IN YOUR FREAKING PROVINCE CAN GET THE FREAKING MEDICAL TREATMENT THEY FREAKING NEED.
Sorry for the harsh language there. I’m a little miffed.