Thursday, January 24, 2013

Queue jumping and wait times

In Canada, health care is universal. We all have our tax dollars go towards the large pot of money that takes care of all of us.

Despite PM Harper's latest changes, which limits care immigrants and refugees receive, most of us are entitled to care. It does vary in the US, where concierge healthcare is common.

What we find in the prairies, is an unfair distribution of services. They do things differently in Alberta, where expensive private clinics are allowed to function and receive preferential treatment. This is shocking

Imagine sitting in a waiting room, for an MRI appointment made a month or more ago, while a famous hockey player, Daniel Alfredsson, waltzes by and jumps the queue. This happens in Ontario. Now, I understand that athletes are concerned about their health, as are their owners and teams, but it is wrong in Canada.

I've been following the inquiry.
Stolen flu shots given to families of Primary Care staff, fMRIs for the daughter of a Dr., queue jumping for concierge healthcare clients who pay $3000 a year to private clinics.

Private clinic patients allowed to queue-jump at public facility, Alberta inquiry hears
While ordinary Albertans waited three years for a colon cancer test, patients at a private clinic were treated in just weeks under an informal agreement with Calgary’s flagship colon care screening clinic, an inquiry was told Tuesday.

Wildrose promises private health care on public dime to shorten ...

Apr 5, 2012 – The Wildrose Party has reignited the debate over two-tiered medicine in the province, embracing private health care for certain procedures as a way to alleviate long waiting times.
The party, which has soared into the lead in multiple polls, promised to allow patients the right to use private clinics – inside or outside the province – on the public dime if they have to wait longer than a set time for procedures, from cancer and cardiac care to diagnostic imaging and orthopedic surgery as well as cataract removal.

Edmonton nurses secretly vaccinated family during H1N1 crisis, inquiry told

An inquiry into queue jumping was told on Thursday that public health nurses used their lunch breaks to covertly immunize their family members, bypassing thousands of people waiting up to six hours for their vaccinations at public clinics. It was also told that other nurses either reopened a closed clinic where stored vaccine was about to expire, or ferried shots home to inoculate friends, relatives and acquaintances.

Inquiry told Calgary Flames skipped vaccination line to avoid chaos: About 150 people – players, their families and team officials – got the vaccine, and the two nurses declined Dr. Thorne’s offer of free hockey tickets as a thank you. Dr. Findlay recalled a 2011 call from his daughter’s coach, who said Ms. Findlay was experiencing pain in her right hip. Dr. Findlay consulted a radiologist, who said magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) should be done “urgently.” The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta later reminded Dr. Findlay of the code of ethics that prohibits doctors from treating family members. He apologized.

Other stories about it:
Ottawa Hospital accused of moving Erik Karlsson to front of queue

MARCH 10, 2013 OTTAWA — Vince Creaco has nothing against Erik Karlsson. But when the Ottawa Senators’ star defenceman arrived at The Ottawa Hospital’s Civic campus in the early hours of Feb. 14 after his Achilles tendon was lacerated during a game in Pittsburgh, the 48-year-old Ottawa man saw red. 
Unsatisfied, Creaco sent another email to Worthington, asking why Karlsson hadn’t had to wait for treatment like other patients. “The integrity of our health care system is in question,” he wrote.
In his reply, Worthington reiterated that care to other emergency patients was not affected by Karlsson’s treatment, but said privacy concerns prevented him from elaborating. “In order to provide you assurance of our approach, the Ministry of Health has been informed of your concern and the hospital’s review and response,” he added.

No comments: