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Rural Healthcare is Dying

The healthcare system in the community in which I was raised, O'Leary PEI, is on the brink of a total collapse. The system in the West Prince region has been on life support for quite a few years now, with both the federal and provincial governments having their fair share in its demise. Both have chosen to sit on their hands and watch as people struggle through the process of getting medical attention.

The Community Hospital in O'Leary is supposed to be staffed by 5 full-time doctors. As of this moment, the hospital is making due with 2 full-time doctors, with one set to leave in July. Their workload is unbearable, having to be on-call much to often. One doctor just recently went on stress leave and is relocating his practice out of the area, and as I just mentioned another is soon to follow in July. That will leave only 1 full-time doctor in the area to carry the workload of 5 doctors.

It only gets worse, with the hospital and medical center both short staffed, people are waiting 5 and 6 hours to see a doctor or nurse practitioner. Let me tell you, things are not pretty. Just recently the medical center had to hire a security guard, due to irate folks who are spending the better part of their days waiting for medial attention and are starting to take their frustrations out on the staff. How long will it be before someone gets hurt with everyone feeling the pressure?

How much longer will the remaining doctor hold out, we don't know? And how easy will it be to attract new doctors to such a no win situation? What young man or women in their right mind would walk into this mess? Yet neither the federal or provincial governments will talk about serious healthcare reforms to take the pressure off rural ares. Their negligence is also criminal.

Why is it such a taboo is this country for governments to talk about fixing healthcare? I mean fix healthcare, not throw more money away in the current system. Its even one of the federal Liberal's main taking points during elections, bad mouth anyone who wants to change healthcare. With situations like O'Leary happening throughout our country, change is what we need, not the status quo.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

My fix is to scrap medicare entirely. People will have money in their pockets to pay for health care when they need it. They won't plug the system by showing up in emergency rooms with headaches, colds, etc. The elimination of waste and corruption in federal and provincial ministries of health will mean extra savings, which mean more money spent locally, and more employment. The much smaller number of destitute people will be treated as charity cases, and no one will mind contributing to help the truly helpless. Shirkers and freeloaders will get the contempt they deserve.

Or, you can have the Roy Romanow solution. On the one hand, your taxes will go up a lot, you'll spend a lot less on local goods and services, and more people will get laid off and go on the pogey. But the good news is, another giant tower full of health bureaucrats will be constructed in Ottawa, and a mini tower will be built in Charlottetown, where they will work extremely hard creating and enforcing standards to ensure that the only doctor on the island divides her time among her 100,000 patients "fairly and equitably".