The Health Care System in Freefall: A Week Observing an Emergency Ward (Part VI)

Twice in two years, I was hospitalized in the emergency ward for a week for lung problems. Same illness, same treatment, same hospital. I decided to do a comparative portrait of what’s happening in our emergency wards based on these two stays two years apart.

Between 2013 and 2015, hospitals had really changed.

By Raymond Viger

As a Conclusion

I am convinced that what I saw is just the tip of the iceberg. Overwhelmed by what I saw and heard, I’ll just pose a few questions to define the impact of this situation:

  • Has this level of violence in language used in hospitals, a level that has in the past been cause for expulsion, now become the norm given the powerlessness of not being able to adequately respond to the needs of the population?
  • Does the state of crisis that the emergency ward has slid into favor healing and communication?
  • Have successive governments brought about this situation to better sell the benefits of private health care?
  • Are governments aware of the quagmire that the health care system has become?
  • Are these governments conscious of the fact that we’re not encouraging hospital staff to do more with less, but that we’re just discouraging them from doing work in which they can feel pride in a job well done?
  • I do a lot of volunteer work in federal prisons, and I communicate regularly with prisoners. The situation in that ward I was in makes me think of what prisoners must face in terms of a lack of services. I even have the impression that certain services are more accessible in jails than in our hospital emergency wards.
  • This state of affairs shows that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and that a good health care system can take the pressure off demands in other areas. Some examples:
  • Worse health for patients who wouldn’t dare find themselves in this type of situation;
  • Growing trouble healing from illness, given the increase in insecurity, stress and an incapacity to get enough sleep in a hospital ward;
  • An increase of cases before the courts involving violence in hospitals. That could encompass anything from a psych patient or a junkie jumping someone, to mere exasperated citizens who take problems into their own hands.

First seen on Raymond Viger’s blog, December 16th, 2015

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