Health care issues hurt

AT RANDOM: This deficiency throughout health care just ends up hurting those it is supposed to help

Throughout society, a lot of faith is put into our medical system. We rely on the doctors, nurses, surgeons and all types of health care practitioners to keep us alive and well. So it’s no wonder we value them so much.

Therefore, it’s alarming to hear that a cornerstone in health care is closing its doors. The Vernon Family Doctors Medical Clinic is being forced to shut down in March due to a doctor shortage.

It seems unfathomable that one of our walk-in clinics could close when you consider just how busy each and every clinic is on a daily basis.

Anyone who has ever been to a walk-in knows the wait times can be excruciating. But they go because it is still better than waiting up at the emergency room (which can take hours upon hours) and even better than waiting weeks to get an appointment to see a family doctor, if you’re lucky enough to have one.

And that is the thing about our doctor shortage, it’s nothing new. I would wager a bet to estimate there are hundreds of citizens who use the walk-in clinic as their primary physician source because they simply can’t get a family doctor.

And when it comes to the clinic in question, there is a particular at-risk population which frequents the walk-in. It includes those who are struggling to make ends meet, our most vulnerable citizens who lack the resources to access proper health care and those who not only lack a doctor, but a home. This closure is going to hurt them the most as many do not have the means to travel across town to one of the other two clinics.

What about the refugees who are moving into the area, or others who are coming here to escape their own crisis? They are going to have health care needs as well, which will likely have to be met through a walk-in clinic.

Like the medical director explained, this situation isn’t unique to Vernon, it’s a Canada-wide problem.

It exists in every level of health care.

Just look at someone who has been trying for months, if not years, to see a specialist or surgeon, meanwhile their existing issues continue to exasperate.

Our seniors are laying in hospital beds, waiting for space in a care home, where they can live out their final years with dignity. Unfortunately, only those who can afford it are granted this, while too many seniors are living on mediocre pensions which do not afford them anything. We need more funded care homes and staff so that we can take care of our elders when we can no longer do so at home.

It all leads to poor outcomes.

This deficiency throughout health care just ends up hurting those it is supposed to help.

There’s lower quality and quantity of care, compromised patient safety with overworked doctors and staff and unnecessary patient deaths while waiting for health care.

The closure of one of Vernon’s walk-in clinics only adds to the problem.

There is no doubt it is going to add to the already lengthy wait times at the other clinics and it’s going to put more strain on the doctors we do have left in town. It’s also going to cause more people to go directly to the emergency room with their needs, whether they are emergent or not.

It may be a private clinic that is closing, but  it is a public issue which deserves attention.



Just Posted

Okanagan adventurer continues motorcycle trip around the world

Vernon local James Leigh recently completed the third of five legs of the journey, travelling through China and Kazakhstan

Riders “step up” their game at Equestrian Clinic

Riders from across the Okanagan travelled to Coldstream to train for the 2019 55+ Senior Games, which take place in Kelowna this fall.

Update: Mother dead, youth in critical condition after carbon monoxide poisoning at Sandy Point Campground

The woman was found unresponsive insider her tent and the youth was taken via air ambulance to hospital

Vernon students dance their way to provincials

“It is an amazing experience for these young ladies and has definitely become a yearly goal for them all.”

Okanagan Science Centre hosts first Teen Science Café

“This is a great opportunity to take science out of the classroom and learn with other students our age.”

Kelowna RCMP interrogation video brings home reality in ‘visceral way’: former TRC chairman

Video of Mountie interrogating young Indigenous woman disclosing sexual abuse under fire

Canada’s parole officers say correctional system has reached breaking point

About half of Canada’s federal parole officers work inside penitentiaries and correctional institutions

Montreal researchers create audible hockey puck for visually impaired players

Three years ago, Gilles Ouellet came up with the idea for a puck that makes a continuous sound

Vernon teen’s support ferret found

“Thank you to everybody for sharing and posting, getting the word out, and looking.”

Boy, 12, arrested after allegedly pulling a knife on another child at a Surrey park

The child was later released into his parents’ custody as Surrey RCMP continue their investigation

Former Greyhound bus drivers gather in the Okanagan for one last hurrah

Bash kicks off Friday in Penticton and runs until Sunday

ICBC urging drivers to slow down this May long weekend

Speed is number one cause of car crash fatalities: ICBC

Bucks hammer Raptors 125-103 to take 2-0 playoff series lead

Toronto heads home in a hole after second loss to Milwaukee

Full-scale search underway for missing kayaker on Okanagan Lake

Kelowna Paddle Centre member Zygmunt Janiewicz, 71, failed to return from his ‘daily kayak’ on the lake

Most Read