Sask. man visits ER 150 times in one year: premier
What’s in an anecdote? Well, plenty. Just ask Brad Wall.
Indeed, the Saskatchewan premier must’ve known the fire he would spark this week when he casually noted a case of spectacular misuse of Canada’s health care system.
According to Wall, a man in his province once visited the emergency room 150 times in one year.
For those firmly in the “best health care system in the world” camp, this is not the news you want to hear.
Surely, Canada’s health care structure, which is largely universal but, hey, don’t kid yourself, hardly 100 per cent subsidized, is as polarizing as issues come in our humble nation.
*Bing: What isn’t covered by Canada’s universal system?
Overall, we probably agree this is the best way to go. For all its faults, providing health care for those can’t provide it themselves is probably, in the largest, most philosophical, sense, the way to run a society.
But my, many Canadians can’t live with the wait times, both in trying to receive an operation and in the emergency room, where time stands still.
What Wall suggested in his tale this week appears to be a sign of the hypochondriac apocalypse. That is to say, the premier seemed to infer it is because Canadians have such open access to emergency rooms that they frequent them so much. And maybe too much, as some wait times in Canada have recently swelled to the 11 hour mark.
How do you regulate emergency room visits? That’s likely a slippery problem to fix. Deterring ER visits might well scare off people that need to be there, people that may ignore serious maladies that need legitimate, urgent care.
Wall, though, echoes the sentiments of other experts, who suggest Canada should emulate the ER practices of other countries.
“People wait 45 minutes – the emergency rooms are empty – because the triage happens in the waiting room,” the premier tells the CBC. “A team comes out and literally deals with people waiting in the emergency room quickly.” In other words, if someone is legitimately sick or harmed, care for them quick. If they’re not, identify them and get them out of the damn way.
How long have you waited in an emergency room? Does Canada’s health care system need change?
By Jason Buckland, MSN Money
Posted by: gerald | Jan 12, 2022 1:23:36 AM
maybe an hour,but that was yrs ago,when it is abused like this man did yes,that seems to be the problem its always the same people going to the doctor for no reason a little cough,or some small pain they have,i`m lucky if i go to the doctor once a year and i don`t work out or exersise regularly,people just abuse this system way to much.
Posted by: Steve | Jan 12, 2022 9:32:56 AM
Perhaps the doctors are not diagnosing this man properly, hence the repeated visits. Perhaps they do not care too. People are people , after all, and there are social loafing pricks in the medical system. If you fail to treat a person, then it becomes repeat buisness, caseload, even. I have been undiagnosed since 1994. In this time I have searched for a "family doctor" , to be told... "get yourself healthy for 3 months. preferably 6 months, and then you can be my patient."
Is this what we pay so much for healthcare for?
Posted by: Dana | Jan 12, 2022 10:18:04 AM
I've never been to the ER; however, my friends have told me stories of waiting in the ER for up to 13 hours. If I ever had to go, I would drive to a town an hour outside of the city. I would be taken care of faster than going to the hospital in the city.
Posted by: SP | Jan 12, 2022 10:55:37 AM
Anyone who has children knows that 12 hour waits are not unheard of. Anyone who has had any medical care in western Europe knows how horrible healthcare in Canada is. The only redeeming feature of Canadian healthcare is that it is able to compare itself to the US system.
Posted by: Al-man | Jan 12, 2022 1:43:43 PM
One good thing about Canada is that we don't have a US style health system. One bad thing sis that it is being abused quite a bit by hypochondriacs and such.
One thing that might help is a bit of a miniscule fee system. Legislate that emergency room visits require a person to put $2 in the kitty everytime they visit. Now make it so that $2 is all that anyone would pay for lets say the next 50 yrs and it would never go up at all in that time frame. Maybe the hypochondriacs would help pay for a big chunk of the health care system. It would help for sure. Maybe it would also help bring some of the numbers of un-neccessary hospital vists down. Colds, flu, and other trivial problems that people seem to panic about and run to the hospital.
ER visits are for trauma, bleeding, accidents, heart attacks or anything that may actually involve an ambulance or cas-evac helicopter bringing you to the hospital. I like the idea of waiting room triage. Weed out the non-sick right off the bat and have them show up by appointment or show up to their family doctor. Keep the serious cases and help them. Its the only way we are all going to help keep our health care system "healthy" and improve it for the future.
Posted by: Lee Jones | Jan 13, 2022 6:59:03 AM
I've entered the emergency department of our local huge, brand new hospital by ambulance with a broken leg. I was quickly admitted, assessed, xrayed, and had blood taken. The surgeon on duty had been paged. No one knew who the surgeon was, where he was, or when he/she would arrive. Then I was left in a room by myself for the next 8 hours. Alone. No phone, buzzer, tv, newspaper, sip of water, or ice for my injury. I called, shouted, rolled chairs to hit the door, and dropped and banged the sides of the gureny, waved my arms in front of the cctv, but nothing. Not a thing happened. No one noticed I was calling or needed assistance. And no one checked on me. I could clearly hear the doctors (all male) on duty as they were talking quite loudly about some sporting event and each one trying to talk over the other. I eventually got up, got myself dressed, hobbled to the door and asked if someone could get a wheel chair and take me to the front doors. They stood around me looking, gawking really, and said i would have to wait years to be seen by a surgeon. And that's what happens in Halifax.
Posted by: pete | Jan 15, 2022 12:54:33 AM
Jan, 2011 a young native indian girl was found murdered in Duncan, BC. The RCMP blanketed the entire community searching for her killer. An ER nurse said for three days the hospital had few customers. Drug and alcohol abuse plagues our society. Health care funding for the sick and injured is wasted on abusers. Stab wounds, gun shots and overdoses are what our tax dollars go to. 10 billion to fund health care in BC alone. We can not afford it any more. We are going broke paying for this shit day and night. The future will be "don't get sick and don't get old".
Posted by: Shelly Jones | Jan 15, 2022 1:02:46 AM
I recently went to the emergency department had a CAT scan (waited 8 hrs and was told I was fine). There was never an offer of food, drink etc. After being home for 2 hrs they phoned requesting I return ASAP for an MRI as the tech had misread the results and I did in fact have a lesion on my brain. So I returned, had my MRI and waited another 6 hrs when I finally decided due to lack of sleep, food, drink and a raging headache that I couldnt tolerate waiting any longer and I left without knowing my results. its been 10 days and they still have not forwarded the results to my family doctor. I guess there just too busy......and incompetent.
Posted by: Carsen Ashlie | Jan 15, 2022 2:12:40 AM
Sask's premier is using the same argument that Klein used to convince Albertans that making longer wait times would reduce the hypochondriacs, and that somehow they were crippling the system. First off, I haven't been to emergency except once in my 42 years. For a broken foot. If the premier wants to make the faulty logical argument that this single, unusual individual is the sole reason Health Care in Canada has to be revised. The premier is also suggesting that this individual gets world class service when he comes to ER. It is just as likely that the doctors have figured out his malady and he doesn't get to jump the cue over someone with a genuine emergency. If anything, the health care system needs more money because this man has a mental disorder and may need a psychiatrist to help him with his issue of hypochondria.
Posted by: Charlotte Groskopf | Jan 15, 2022 9:38:26 AM
I would like to know if this person who kept visiting the hospital has ever seen any doctor at all, why can't he get help for his mental problem? This worries me. I'm a senior, I paid for OHIP when I worked,is this going to be my fate too? Stop putting sick folks on the street, get them into long term care facilities. With so many people taking drugs our nation needs to build more long term care facilities. Thats were he could get help and so could all the people living on the street who need help and want help. THIS IS WHAT IS NEEDED MORE LONG-TERM CARE FACILITIES.
Posted by: Tired Canadian | Jan 15, 2022 9:50:06 AM
My mother waited 8 hours to be seen at the ER after being referred to the ER by her family physician for suspected cardiac problems. The physician faxed in the requisition and is a part-time hospitalist at that hospital. During that time, she was told nothing to drink or eat. My mother is a diabetic and nearly slipped into a diabetic coma, while being ignored by the nurse sitting 8 feet away. After the ER doctor saw her, she ordered the standard tests. Question: why cannot nurses order standard tests when either a family physician has made a provisional diagnosis and/or patient presents with certain standard symptoms? I'm not a medical person and I knew what tests the hospital should orderand ultimately did order from my brief conversation with the family physician. When the ER doctor saw her, we had to wait another four hours for tests to be taken and results to be reviewed. She was admitted to hospital, where again the nursing staff allowed her to fall into a diabetic coma which was only caught because my elderly father became alarmed at her non-responsiveness. The nurse's response: sorry, but I have a lot of patients and your mother is a difficult case.
The whole hospital visit smacked of bottlenecks, buck-passing, inefficiency and mismanagement.
Recently, my 86 year old father had a slip and fall. The walk-in clinic ruled out fractures and did an ECG, but still wanted my dad to go to the ER for a neurology/greater cardiac issue. My father refused, largely because he saw how badly my mother's ER trip had been. Part of the problem is that in Ontario, if you belong to a Family Health Team system, the doctors don't want you to go to a walk-in clinic because it impacts their fees. They refer stuff to ER instead of walk-in clinics, even when an ER visit may not be necessary. Although my family has a great family physician, there is no coverage from Friday to Monday morning.
If Canada wants to really address the health care crisis, it needs to expand the role of non-physician health care workers and also assess who gives medical treatment and what is their training?
Posted by: unknown | Jan 15, 2022 10:09:28 AM
i have had emerg visits one to many as my dr is a butt hole and has not time to do his job in my opinion and experience.afh.
Posted by: Maggie | Jan 15, 2022 12:19:23 PM
Absolutely this is abuse of the healthcare system. I believe there should be a small user fee ($5.00) upon every visit. BY EVERYONE(welfare included) This would cut back on the unnecessary visits by 50 %. I have worked in the healthcare field for 30 yrs. The emergency departments are ment for just that EMERGENCIES. I could post a page of abuse that i have seen in Doctors offices/pharmacies and hospitals.
Posted by: rebecca | Jan 15, 2022 2:13:48 PM
I was bleeding internally for 14 hours, 12 of which was spent in the waiting room at the hospital while they tried to clear a room for me so they could proceed with the operation. The doctor told me I was lucky the bleed had slowed down considerably - I could have bled out before a room was prepared.
Posted by: Christine | Jan 15, 2022 2:18:23 PM
I have recently been introduced to our wonderful ER system. It sucks.. No one cares about you. You have to fight to be seen by a specialist. My mother was admitted and spent 14 days in hospital. Diagnosed ok to go home on Wednesday. Back in ER on Thursday with a heart condition that was not treated properly in the 14 days she was in hospital. This is where our hard earned health care dollars are going.
Posted by: Tia | Jan 15, 2022 3:05:04 PM
I personally feel that if there was a "crime stoppers" type report of abuse - alot would be stopped! A senior here in the Falls was transferred by ambulance to Hamilton from the ER here, only to be sent back the same way - resulting in a statement that she had nothing but fluid in the lungs, not a cardiac arrest. Another fellow, goes from Dr to Dr until he gets the answer he wants. How come this is happening?