Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Healthcare in Canadian hospitals

Eight out of 10 Canadians receive priority area procedures within recommended wait times

Where you live in Canada can make a difference in how long you wait for care

What: Wait Times in Canada—A Comparison by Province, 2011

In Ontario wait times improve, yet the media are finding individual stories of angst faced by ill patients, and their family members.

In my hospice work I encounter physicians who have antiquated ideas, harbor myths (i.e., pain management), treat nurses like dirt, and those goes beyond and below incompetence. Physicians are simply not accountable. How can you test for this, however? Like the doctor who marched in and said of my client, aloud, in her presence (albeit a coma), "She just won't die!" The man had to be in his 70s. The nurses who I am talking about. The communities are aware. Yet no one in power will speak truth to power.

My father's doctor, both of them in their 80's, was taking chemo treatments while my father was dying and untreated for a urinary tract infection in the ER. We had no choice where to send dad. His dementia overrode his deilirium and he continued to be incontinent until diagnosed, by a phone call to his doctor.

I blame the physicians who allow these things to continue. We civilians cannot do anything about it. Especially when suffering ourselves as caregivers. I was stressed beyond sanity at that point, preparing for my mother's funeral, watching my brother drag dad off for radiation treatments. (Yes, BTW, radiation often causes a urinary tract infection. Someone should have figured this out in the ER.)

Visit White Coat Black Art to listen to the podcast of this show.

A 2006 study published in the Annals of Surgery found that for some complex procedures, surgeons older than 60 years, particularly those with low procedure volumes, have higher operative mortality rates than their younger counterparts.  However, for most procedures, however, surgeon age is not an important predictor of operative risk.

Click here to read the study in the Annals of Surgery.

A 2005 study found that older doctors were more likely than younger ones to be investigated and disciplined by licensing bodies.  In the US, the rate of disciplinary action was 6.6 percent for doctors out of medical school 40 years, compared with 1.3 percent for those out only 10 years.
Click here to read the study.

And, mistakes are still being made:

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