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Response to crimsonblue (Reply #16)

Sun Mar 4, 2012, 07:02 PM

55. I hope people actually read your link re Canadian wait times

 

Last edited Sun Mar 4, 2012, 07:51 PM - Edit history (1)

The context is:

Posted on June 25, 2009
Response to the Senator accusing Canada of having "staggering" wait times from Canadian Surgeon and Hospital Executive Dr. David Zelt

By Dr. David Zelt
The Kingston Whig Standard
6/24/09

Dr. David Zelt, chief of staff and vice-president, medical administration, at Kingston General Hospital, sent the following reply to McConnell.

and what he said was:

Your researchers have taken data and interpreted it incorrectly, with the result that your information is inaccurate.

Your statement to the Senate: “Today, the average wait time for (hip replacement) surgery at KGH is about 196 days.” In fact, our actual average hip replacement wait time is 91 days — less than half of what you stated.

Your statement to the Senate: “What about knee replacements? Well, at Kingston General, the average wait time is 340 days, or almost a year from the moment that the doctor says you need a new knee.” In fact, our average wait time for knee replacements is 109 days.

Three months' wait for a surgery for a non-life-threatening condition, from referral to surgery? When it is available to every resident of the province on equal footing? Is someone actually concerned about this?

I took my partner to the ER just before midnight on a Saturday night a couple of years ago because symptoms he was describing sounded to me like a retinal detachment. I was right. After two hours there and very complete examination, he was told to report to the eye clinic at the hospital in our city that is the designated in-patient eye surgery facility the next morning. He was admitted and had to wait all day for the surgery, because on a Sunday only two ORs were operating and he got bumped by every car accident and emergency caesarian section that came along. All in all, it was about 19 hours from ER arrival to surgery. It was emergency surgery, needed immediately to preserve his eye, and it was done immediately, and the wait time was mainly associated with it happening at midnight on a Saturday.

More from your link:

Your statement to the Senate: “And for cardiac bypass surgery, patients in Ontario are told they may have to wait six months for a surgery that Americans can often get right away.” In fact, the median wait time for cardiac surgery in Ontario is 16 days (32 days at KGH).

That is the median time. Half waited longer, half waited less time. Again, if the situation is an emergency, it is treated as such, and surgery is essentially immediate.

I'm wondering what your point was, too.

As I sit here with my third cast on the leg I broke just over three weeks ago, having had attention (ambulance, three consults, 3 sets of xrays, plaster cast) first in the ER, then a consult week later to decide whether to have surgery, then the surgery a week later to install a plate and screws and put on another temporary cast, then a consult a week later to examine the wound and replace the cast, then this week another set of xrays and maybe one of those air cast things ...

I was really quite pissed about spending nearly 8 hours in the ER the first time. Apparently I made the mistake of breaking my leg the same day half the city broke or dislocated something; two life-threatening orthopaedic emergencies, even (whatever they might be), I was told when I finally got pissy, while I and everybody else were waiting. And frankly I'm pissed about the two-week wait for surgery, when I was told at the ER it would be within a week. But really.

So far it has cost me $45 for a medically-necessary ambulance trip (waived if I were low-income or otherwise eligible), several taxi fares, and a total of maybe $50 for prescriptions. And a little under $100 for a private wheelchair rental for two months. I'll have a few more taxi fares for a few more hospital visits before it's over. So, about $400 out of pocket all told, all for incidentals.

I paid $750 last year for Ontario health insurance, at tax time, because I'm high-income. (That's the second-highest level; the previous year I paid the top rate, $900. The scale ranges from 0 for low-income to $900; people receiving social assistance and seniors also receive drug coverage.)


editing to note: I have these out of pocket expenses because I'm self-employed and do not purchase any supplemental insurance. If I worked for the government or an employer of any significant size, I would have private supplemental group insurance which would cover my prescriptions, taxis and wheelchair rental, possibly with some sort of annual deductible which would not be significant.

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MindMover Mar 2012 OP
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LineLineLineLineNew Reply I hope people actually read your link re Canadian wait times
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