--> Getting It Right: It works...in emergencies

Thursday, June 29, 2006

It works...in emergencies

It’s so easy as a columnist to always criticize – to find the gaps in the delivery of service or nit pick the details of some ridiculous government program.

In our health care system, for example, there is so much that could be done better or differently. Collectively as Canadians, we shouldn’t be afraid to examine more private involvement in primary and preventive care and more activity by nurses in roles currently provided by doctors, just for starters.

But when push comes to shove, as it did for our family this week, the emergency health system holds.

Kid #2 had an emergency this week. It was something with his brain and eyes and we took no chances.

Not a family who accesses health care gratuitously (Kid #2 had never been to a hospital before in his five years), we rushed to Children’s Hospital.

It was the same night that some kind of vomiting bug was sweeping through Vancouver babies. The emergency room was packed.

Less serious cases waited and waited. Some did leave, as their kids started to feel better from their playground bumps and bruises.

We waited, as well, but not terribly long. It took about an hour from the time we came in the door until we were met by the emergency room doctor.

From the first interview with the admitting nurse at eight o’clock, through to the last meeting with the neurologist at one-thirty in the morning, we were treated with friendly courtesy – manna from heaven for worried parents.

Tests were done kindly. The pediatric nurses and doctors were cheerful and loving to the children.

Even Kid #2’s Star Wars t-shirt was discussed and admired, to great effect.

At some point of the evening, a child with very serious trauma was brought into Children’s. On top of an already busy night, the doctors and nurses swung into real emergency mode. Even though a child was severely hurt and needed all hands on deck, the staff still made a point of telling each family that things were going to take a little longer that evening and why.

Babies were crying, children in pain, parents were nervous, waits were long – but the professionals from nurses to doctors and specialists were polite, helpful, honest and prioritized each case to the best of their abilities.

Children’s Hospital sees 35,000 emergency cases a year and 150,000 other patient visits. Many of the emergency cases are probably not true emergencies – these kids could probably wait until morning and see their family doctor, if they have one.

As we all know, a system that is relying on emergency rooms for non-emergency health care is a hurt system.

But when there is an emergency and a child needs help right away, I am thankful for the great care, delivered with compassion and kindness, at our Children’s Hospital.

As seen today in 24 Hours


At 7:26 p.m., Anonymous Anonymous said...


I'm very happy to hear that your child
was taken good care of.

But The State should not be
providing health care.
Food, Clothing, Shelter and
Health Care are too important for The State to provide these services and needs.

In a pure laissez-faire
free enterprise system
you would have got twice
the service for half the price.

The Myth of State Legitimacy
must be destroyed.

Any system based on force,
extortion called taxation, is


At 11:52 a.m., Blogger YVRpilot said...

Hope all is well now and my prayers are with your family.

I don't think Canada is ready for another Great Depression. Your comment make me believe you want Canada to go back to the stone age.

At 9:24 p.m., Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jesus h. Christ, I thought 'Bernie' was an idiot then 'yvrpilot' babbles about the great depression.

What the hell does that have to do with our gracious hostess, her kids and health care?

Sorry about the kid, but why should I pay for your genetic deficiencies and/or poor parenting skills and/or bad luck? Maybe I could use the money to save my kid's life. Tough shit for me, eh?

Canadians, particularly left coasters, are thieves.

Fred Z

At 11:31 p.m., Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is most obvious that YOUR BRAIN is genetically deficient there, Sparky...

At 8:52 p.m., Anonymous Anonymous said...


Are you Jewish?
Fake evil Talmud jew or
Real Godly Torah Jew?


At 1:32 a.m., Blogger YVRpilot said...

Friday night (July 7) my two month old scare the bejeezus out of my wife and I. We rushed him to the hospital and we were out two hours later. It seemed like 10 hours had gone by as I thought that no care could possibly be fast enough when it comes to our children.

The system works fine!

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