If you live in the north, sooner or later you are going to either experience or hear about problems with the current medical system. It is not isolated to one hospital, nor is it isolated to certain doctors. In fact, each hospital has both sides of the coin it seems.
There are a few phenomenal doctors out there and a few who have lost their passion for their profession and that is true for many careers.
However, the difference is that someone who has lost their zest for say, science or driving a truck isn’t put under the scrutiny of the public eye compared to someone in the medical field. I think when it comes to a matter of life and death it carries more weight.
Personally I have experienced some incredible doctors since I moved to the north and I am extremely grateful for them in many ways. My pediatrician, Dr. Moisey is a gift to children and parents and the medical system and the day he retires will be tragic and a great loss. I have also had the experience of meeting great doctors who have come through the Wrinch Memorial hospital on their training or stayed for a few years before moving on. Ironically though, the few I have talked to that have left did voice their frustrations with the northern care system. You don’t have to go far to hear horror stories about people’s experiences in any of the local hospitals.
Now I am not necessarily blaming the hospitals as they can only work with what they have and that in itself seems to be the crux of the situation.
Perhaps one of the biggest issues is that which has repeated itself yet again this week with Bill Nannings. It is extremely difficult to get patients in need down to Vancouver for care, surgery or treatments in a timely fashion. This of course is not the fault of medical professionals in the North but it does has many ramifications. One, it is very hard on the patients and their families to be left in waiting for days upon days and even weeks. Lying there knowing you have a collapsed lung and maybe more serious issues but you can’t get a flight out to make the appointment with the specialist or there isn’t a bed for you down south is terrifying.
Another problem arising out of this dilemma is that in the odd circumstance, the patient couldn’t get there in time or they had waited so long the complications stemming from the original problem made for harder or sometimes impossible recovery.
There are many other current problems with the existing medical system in our area but I only have so much space and knowledge. Yet I can’t close this without adding one more point; a great doctor once told me that all doctors should listen to their patients a little more. We may not have medical degrees but we do know our bodies.
So with that said, many of us believe that living in the North is one of the greatest places to live on earth and we choose to live here for various reasons. Yet, not having the ability to have proper medical treatments and services shouldn’t be something we need to give up in order to stay here.