Commentaries, Waiting for Care
Emergency departments in Canada are very busy places. Every year, Canadians make about 16 million visits to emergency rooms and more than one million Canadians are admitted to hospital through emergency departments.
I spent my life teaching actuarial science at a university. As a result, I calculated lots of numbers: averages, expected values, variances. But, they were only numbers. What I didn’t see was the individual human story behind each calculation.
The public response to the appeal on behalf of Eugene Melnyk, owner of the Ottawa Senators hockey team, for a liver donor has been a heart-warming demonstration of the generosity of our community. Fortunately, a donor was found and the transplant was performed in time to save his life.
Value for money appears to be finally getting the attention it merits as Alberta’s new health minister, Stephen Mandel, takes the reins of the portfolio that is close to consuming 50% of the province’s operating budget.
Overcrowded EDs, stressed staff and concerns about patient safety are problems witnessed more often than any health care professional would wish. How to prevent this chaos?
Eight in ten Canadian adults want online access to their own health information yet fewer than one in 10 currently have it, so says a new study published in Healthcare Papers.
Television shows have popularized the theatrical entrance into the hospital emergency room: patients racing down hallways on gurneys with worried doctors and nurses running alongside — great drama. How most patients leave the emergency room isn’t quite as dramatic, but the facts tell a good news story.
Canadians might have been inclined to take a sedative for an anxiety attack after reading about the Wait Time Alliance’s (WTA) 2014 report card on waits for medical care in Canada. The WTA gives Canada a failing grade on the structural changes it says are needed to have the timely access to care seen in other countries.
Alberta’s provincial health authority has recently come under fire by opposition party MLAs and activists alike for closing 77 Calgary long-term care beds damaged by the June floods. The angry reaction demonstrates the common misperception that a shortage of beds is the major cause of persistent waiting lists for long-term care.
The CBC’s Fifth Estate recently produced an investigation on the quality of hospitals in Canada – “Rate My Hospital” – which has been enormously popular and set off discussions across the country about the need to improve our hospital services.
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