Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Saskatchewan Medicare

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by Morley Evans

Dear Doug and Gail,

I just penned this for Medical Harm & Iatrogenic Illness Support Group

You may disagree:

The nurses in Saskatchewan belong to SUN, the Saskatchewan Union of Nurses. They conspire to ensure there is a chronic "shortage of nurses" so they can work overtime for double and triple pay. The nurses at the Pasqua Hospital in Regina colluded with the doctors to put my mother at the end of the triage list, not caring whether she lived or died. "She's old. We have better things to do." They have better things to do such as playing bridge. The way it works is the government allocates a certain amount to pay surgeons per month. When the money runs out, surgeons play bridge in winter or golf in summer until they can be paid again. They allocate hospital beds the same way. Nurses recruited by the government from the Philippines and New Zealand to alleviate the "nursing shortage" were sabotaged by their supervisors and sent home. Wards may have empty beds but the hospital will be "full" and patients will have to sit in the Emergency Room or lie on gurneys in the hallways because "there are no beds." Hospitals have a lottery to raise money, even though Medicare gobbles up the lion's share of the Provincial Budget. Doctors live in mansions. Nurses earn hundreds of thousands. The government continues to make "historic investments" in Medicare. The nurses looked after my mother who had a broken leg. They said the intravenous sugar water and morphine they gave her for days was "all anyone needs." My mother died after they got around to pinning her snapped femur. Her femur snapped because she had been taking Fosamax® for years to prevent osteoporosis. "The operation was a success, but the patient died. Too bad. Her bones were in very good shape," the surgeon told someone who told someone who told my sister in passing. The government keeps spending more to enlarge and modernize hospitals. The government just bought a new helicopter for Air Ambulance so patients can be flown to such hospitals when they need care. This is exactly what could be expected critics said when Medicare was rammed through in 1961. I would go through this goddamn place like a dose of salts, given half a chance. Heads would roll. But everyone here loves Medicare. They'll just have to wait until the entire rotten mess collapses and they have nothing. Actually, nothing would be a big improvement on what we have. Nothing is coming soon and I don't have to do a thing.

- Morley

P.S.: A guy at the gym told me he was in the operating room lying on the table ready to have the knee operation he's been waiting for a year to have done. The surgeon's clock went "bong, times up" and he walked out. The surgery was rescheduled. Good thing the operation hadn't been started when the surgeon's time ran out. What if he was doing heart surgery? I don't trust people like this with my life, but others do.

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