Dear Prime Minister and Premiers,
I am aware, as I am sure are most Canadians that you have spent the last few days in Ottawa, trying to come to an agreement to fix health care “for a generation”. This is a noble cause. I am sure you receive many letters from Canadians regarding poor service or their dissatisfaction with the health care system. This is not one of those. I want to relate a positive occurrence I had with one of our family members.
This member of the family is getting older and had a condition which turned out to be crystals in his urine, similar to gall stones, making urination very painful. We were able to get an appointment immediately, and drugs and diet changes were prescribed. One month later we had a follow-up, which determined that, although the problem was starting to clear up and he was feeling better, it was not fully resolved. The doctor decided to continue the original treatment, which is still ongoing, and he is doing better every day. I am confident that he has received excellent care and is on the road to recovery.
Specifically, I am impressed with the following aspects of our visit:
We received an appointment almost immediately, and did not have to use an emergency room. This is of great comfort, as it is difficult to watch a family member in pain.
There was no lineup at the office, as in some doctor’s offices, and we were in to see the health care professionals very close to our appointment time.
The staff was excellent, completely professional, and very caring. In fact, the office phoned our home a week later to ask if we had any questions and to inquire on the health of our family member. I was especially surprised that it was the doctor himself who called.
Based on what I have heard from friends, other family and the media, it seems our health care system has some serious problems with waiting times, access and aspects of care. Yet my personal experience does not bear this out. Now, you must be thinking that such a positive letter is a rarity, and perhaps this did not take place in Canada. I can confirm that it did, and, with the extremely positive experience I had, I am hoping some aspect of the operation of this clinic could be considered by you in order to improve the system for all Canadians. For, in this example, there is indeed a catch. The excellent care our family member received was not in a provincial system. It was within a completely private system, for this family member is a cat. “Koko” received a far higher quality of care than I can get for myself. I find it incomprehensible that the governments of Canada seem to think that a cat deserves better health care than a person. Surely some positive aspects of this private system can be incorporated into our public system in order to bring the quality of human care up to that of animals.