Saturday, February 2, 2008

Canadian Medicine: Is it World Class?

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How good is Canadian medicine? If the aircraft industry were run like the medical industry in Canada, crashes would not be investigated, mistakes would not be corrected and planes would be dropping out of the sky every day. Decent doctors should stand up and be counted. It is time.

The Canadian Blood Supply Scandal was a monumental screw-up. Thousands of haemophiliacs who received blood transfusions also received Hepatitis C and HIV from people they trusted. There was public sympathy for the victims. But not much from the medicos who were more interested in saving their own skins than patient outcomes.

In true Canadian fashion "The commission's principal recommendation, that all victims of tainted blood, past, present and future, receive no-fault compensation, was rejected by governments." No sense wasting the taxpayers money.

There was public outrage. There was ongoing media coverage. There was a public inquiry. There were charges laid by the RCMP after a 5-year investigation. Injured parties expected some justice at last. So what happened? Nothing. It's what happens in Canada. Nothing.

In Saskatchewan, when the blood donor outfit changed its name to the Canadian Blood Services, nothing much changed on the corner of Broad Street and Broadway Avenue except the sign outside. The Medical Director who kept his job after the first fiasco (Dr. Ted Alport) brushed off responsibility a few years later when blood tainted with West Nile Virus was discovered coming out of his little shop. It had to be recalled after it had been shipped all over the country. He kept his job.

These people are above the law. They play golf with the lawyers and the judges. Legislators do their bidding. Here's a CBC clip.

Here's the Krever Inquiry:

Some "religious fanatics" refuse blood transfusions. Maybe they aren't so dumb.

For years, Dr. Charles Smith a pathologist in Ontario made mistakes that have been sending innocent people to prison. He has admitted he goofed. Is anything going to happen to Dr. Smith? Nothing is going to happen to Dr. Smith. He did apologize the other day to someone whom he sent to prison for 25 years. Compensation? You must be joking! His victim is just happy to have is life back (sort of).

Dr. Schneeburger is one more case. Organized Canadian medicine did nothing to help his rape victim. She had to climb their legal mountain by herself.

No one knows how many cases there have been in over a century. There will have been lots. Certainly there are more screw-ups and actionable events in Canada than 21 per year — which is the total number of cases that actually got to trial in 2006 and had an "outcome favourable to the plaintiff."

Twenty-one per year? In all of Canada from coast to coast? There are more likely 21 per month, maybe 21 per day. There might be 21 per hour. Who knows? Canada is a place where your medical records can mysteriously disappear and nobody can remember anything. And you might be sued if you raise your voice. Justice Krever, himself, was threatened with a lawsuit. That's chutzpah! They have $Billions$ and a court rigged with tricks. Better be quiet. You, yourself, might disappear.

If a Royal commission headed by Mr Justice Horace Krever and the RCMP — which has legal clout, trained investigators, lawyers, time and MONEY — couldn't do anything about an issue like the Canadian Blood Scandal, what can any patient do for himself?

A "patient" is "one who suffers." That's for sure.

Organized medicine in Canada IS A DISGRACE. Honest doctors need to start cleaning up this mess. It is a mess.

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