Monday, February 4, 2008

"Universal" Health Un-care

You've seen the headlines... you've maybe even seen the quasi-documentary "Sicko"... but universal health care is a sham. At least where I live it is. Actually, it is a political hotbed being played by the "big boys and girls" in the governments, and the people trying to access the health care system are left out in the cold.

Real Life Story (Really!)

A friend and co-worker's mother has advanced dementia. She cannot turn over, feed herself, is incontinent and must be catheterized (and has complications, making it necessary to perform this procedure more than once per day). Believe it or not, she has been discharged from hospital.

She is now in a "holding" part of the hospital, waiting for a nursing home bed that doesn't exist in all of southern Ontario. The family has the privilege of paying $50 per day, and has come to care for her, finding her in dirty diapers, and unfed. Where is the staff? They are doing what they can. There's just not enough of them.

Life On Hold

What are they "holding" her for? They say it isn't appropriate for her to be hospitalized. Actually, one thing I said isn't exactly true. There are beds in a nearby facility. But she doesn't qualify because they are reserved for Alzheimer patients who need to be in "secure" areas. Because she cannot move on her own, she doesn't qualify. They won't even fill the beds temporarily, until they find her a more appropriate place to be.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot - her gerontologist isn't allowed to treat her anymore - after all, she's in the holding area. That area of the hospital requires different doctors. Apparently doctors from the "other side" cannot cross over.

Can the family put her someplace privately? Who can afford that? Can they hire private nurse's aides? First of all, because she is immobile, she requires 2 attendants. That's just way out of the ball park financially.

Besides the nursing home beds are private anyway. And taken, as mentioned above. Take a number please...

Contributed by Jamie Naessens

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