Our Premier is recommending that certain procedures and surgeries be done in regional clinics in the province, to cut down on wait times in hospitals. I want to make sure you understand that it doesn’t matter what you or I think is best for the province, because we are not the major shareholders in the future *of* this province. Do you know how I know that?
First, because it’s shocking how many of us actually bother to exercise our democratic right. Which is shameful. Second, and more to the point, we make up a minority of the population of this province. there is a huge demographic which is motivated to vote, and whose opinion the politicans listen to; not because they are the future of the province, but because they have what’s called “market share”. So when politicians pitch their platforms, they pitch to this demographic. You and I can stand outside their windows and shout and pound on the glass all we want, but until we share elbow room with this large demographic, no one is going to listen. And we never, ever will share elbow room with them; we either are or we are not part of it.
So, sure. I’ll write letters to my MLA about how putting more people through surgery in regional health centres will help address a portion of the problem. But what knots my knickers is this bee ess bandaid approach to healthcare. Basic healthcare administration is not, as they say, rocket surgery. At least, I don’t think it is. I actually have no idea, because I’ve never been a rocket surgeon, and I’ve never had to administer funds and resources in a health region. But here’s something: you have a system where people cannot find good doctors as their primary health care providers, which means they cannot get consistent health care, which means they cannot get referrals to specialists, which means THIS is the first place the system is bogging down – if I don’t get my knees looked at until I’m in the emergency room because the last five doctors I’ve seen at the walk-in clinic have done five different things before trying to get me an appointment with a specialist, I’ve just added at least a year if not more to my wait time to get the effing thing done.
I might have a bit of a bee in my bonnet because the doctor I’ve been fortunate enough to have gone to for the past seven years has closed up shop and the only other option in our town is a quack. Well. I don’t know about the actual definition of quack, but this doctor did tell me that it takes 21 days for a certain medication to be flushed from my system, when the pharmacist and the pharmaceutical company’s own information on that medication says it’s 9 days. This same doctor also told me that it didn’t matter what my previous doctor told me, he was wrong. And in order to get referred to a specialist, I’d have to wait until July. And that there probably isn’t anything actually wrong with my endocrine system (which is not what my bloodwork indicates, but as I pointed out bitterly elsewhere, *my* medical degree came from a bag of cheezies and not from a box of candied popcorn, so my opinion might not be worth as much). Oh hell. It doesn’t matter.
I mean, of *course* it matters, but my *point* here is that I’m pretty tired of independent studies and surveys and retrospectives and in-depth analyses that all basically say, “what you’re doing isn’t working! You should change it! Here’s something utterly untried and unproven! But I thought of it myself so it’s probably awesome!” I have no problem with consultants making a living. Hell, if I could get paid a couple hundred thousand dollars to ask people questions and then come up with a hare-brained, half-arsed set of recommendations, I’d do it in a second.
The thing is that until that large demographic really starts insisting on change in the health care industry, there are going to be some pretty impressive difficulties in the next fifteen years.