Thursday, July 19, 2012

PISSING IN THE WIND...OR NOT

It is time the province stopped pissing around with the urology crisis facing patients in this province. Patient's lives are at risk. 

Urologists, the two we have, can not see new patients unless it is an absolute emergency! Urology patients are being referred to Halifax, where they have to wait in-line behind Nova Scotians and Prince Edward Islanders, for care, because the Eastern health authority is down to just two of the surgeons, where there should be eight!

This situation is not new. The province has been promising a solution for a decade. In 2008, urologists went public fearing a repeat of the botched breast cancer in urology. They said they needed better equipment, more specialists, more nurses and enhanced clinics. No one listened until the entire gynecological team tendered their resignation after a report prepared for the Minster was ignored and sat in the Department of Health, for months, without action

Eastern health added 9 operating days to the schedule in 2009, and on a "go forward basis" The Department of Health promised to study the issue...again.

Fast forward to 2012. The Department of Health is studying the issue and there is an unprecedented crisis in the provision of urology services in this province.

So what is an emergency for folks dealing with prostate cancer, aging prostates,  urinary tract infections and kidney stones? People are suffering in terrible pain needlessly! What are G.P's supposed to do with patients that are sick but not in a dire emergency? For the next three years, the time it could take to fix the problem, Eastern is asking G.P.s to only refer emergencies or very urgent cases to a urologist.  

How did it get to this point? Even better, why do we put up with it?


Meanwhile, our own brightest, trained in Newfoundland and Labrador are working as Specialists in hospitals throughout Canada and the United States. A caller to VOCM Open-line this morning said he best friend is a urologist who would love to work for Eastern Health...what is going on?

The government says it is an issue of demand and supply. One would think that over the last decade, a recruitment and retention package would have been established to deal with this!

Seems like a case of closing the barn door after horses are out to me!


3 comments:

Anonymous said...

There is only one rheumatoid Arthritis specialist available for all patients east of Gander.

3 year wait period for a consultation.

Since the majority of sufferers are seniors, many of them will live their final days in pain without ever seeing the specialist.

This problem has been in effect for 15 years.

Anonymous said...

From were I sit the health care system is just as good and better than that of other Provinces, I have worked outside the province and got some experience . Seems most of us will not be satisfied until we get a doctor and nurse parked in our back yard 24 hours a day 365 days a year.

Anonymous said...

How can you say that without supporting the comment. what other provinces have you used medical services in to make the statement. Obviously the "just as good or better" falls flat on the issue that Peter is talking about. Nova Scotia obviously has a better grip on urology!

No one is calling for a nurse or a doctor to be parked in their backyard, but not having specialists in important areas is unacceptable. It shows a lack of planning, which appears to be a hallmark of the PC government.