Comment 85234

By Joanne (registered) | Posted January 16, 2013 at 13:11:24

I am a frontline health care provider, a registered nurse to be exact. I work in one of Hamilton's 4 specialized hospitals (consider ourselves very lucky!) Hamiltonians and smaller cities and towns surrounding this city have accessibility to specialized doctors and services. This can also be straining for our hospitals, in that we also absorb acute (very sick) patient populations coming from areas such as Niagara, St. Catherine's, Brantford, Burlington, etc, who's hospitals are only equipped to deal with "predictable care". Other than Toronto and London, Hamilton is the only place these patients can go.

Now I agree with the fact that there needs to be more accountability on the part of family doctors. Clinics and family physicians need to run on a more flexible schedule. They need to spend more than 5 minutes on their patients and actually do a full assessment prior to just sending them off with a prescription and/or a letter to by-pass people in ER (yes this happens, ridiculous)

Nurse practitioners need to be better utilized alongside family physicians. Doctors need to be more accepting of nurse practitioners, the fact is we don't have enough doctors being hired in ontario. Perhaps, because of the aging population, we need to bring back the idea of doctors seeing patients in their homes? Perhaps a team: Nurse, Doctor, or Nurse practitioner.

Perhaps they should have joined Urgent care, ER, and family practice clinics side by side, so people can easily be directed? (lol)

And the most important point, the public in general...i'm talking about each and every individual needs to be the most responsible for their OWN health and the health of their children. This includes lifestyle, education, the responsibility of understanding our health care system and where our tax dollars go...

Instead of complaining how front line workers get "paid well" and we're perhaps a "drain on healthcare dollars"...Who the hell do you think is doing the brunt of the work?

Doctors, residents, nurses etc...work on 24 hours schedule..that means either working 12 hour shift work, 4 days straight..or for doctors working 48 hours straight, and doing surgery! We're expected to work under working environments that promote burnout...we can't just "leave our work" at work...we can't just leave on time. I have been a nurse for 7 years, and have never left on time.

Involving ourselves through education, learning about our health system, voting, questioning our government and the people who are suppose to represent the public are all important in changing this dilemma.

I'm fortunate enough to assist in the great things that universal healthcare has been able to provide for the vulnerable, sick population. It's humbled me as a person. Our system is strained..and well need to do something about it!

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