Health Care in Ontario
I am so upset with the way I was treated once again by the so-called professionals in our bankrupted health care system. The story goes back 55 years when I was the unfortunate person to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Redpath Sugar had a tanker truck returning from the wineries in the Niagara peninsula. It was very close to noon on a dull dizzily July Friday. I was going home for lunch and then a relaxing week-end at the cottage. This was going to be a special two days as I was going to celebrate my 27th birthday with my family. We had just started a new life back in my home town of Toronto. The last couple of years had been very traumatic with a new job, a long-distance move and dealing with the shock of having two new sons that were born profoundly deaf, within two years. A relaxing week-end would be just what the doctor ordered. Not to be.
That tanker truck was out of control. I was not aware that he was racing with a Gravel truck and neither were able to manage the slight curve coming off the QEW on to the Gardiner eastbound. I was travelling west and was hit at a crushing speed of at least 60 MPH. I was doing about the same and so my fate should have been sealed at that horrifying split second of impact. It was not and after 5 weeks in the hospital, I was released as I really did need to get back to looking after my family. The doctor told me that I was a strong young man and if I lived long enough, perhaps to 75 or so, I should have a pretty good healthy life. Live longer and the wheels will fall off. I am 82 and all I have is a steering wheel and it some-times becomes disconnected when I need it most. To add insult to injury the government got in the way once again and through Worker’s compensation took all my rights away from suing Redpath and so I was a big-time loser. We were reduced to start again from scratch without a car or the body to properly do my job. Two weeks into my hospital stay, my darling wife was admitted with a nervous breakdown. We have both recovered but are now experiencing the trials of old age.
Worker’s compensation has long since lost my files and their promise of looking after my physical needs from damages due to the accident are lost with the files. And so, 55 years after my unfortunate car crash, I am still reminded of it by the daily pain I have endured for such a long time. Finally, coming back to my family doctor with pain that immobilized me for over three months and three weeks of that I was confined to bed or a chair close to a bathroom. She made an appointment with an Orthopedic surgeon in Niagara Falls. Three trips to get all the xrays needed in Niagara Falls, St.Catherines and Welland and then to my first of two visits for an exam on first my knees and then my ankles and feet.
Visit #1 My appointment was moved forward due to the doctor needing to fill a cancelled appointment and so I was given half an hour notice to get seen or wait goodness knows how long. I was there in half an hour in spite of the distance from Welland to Niagara Falls. A quick glance by the Doctor at one x-ray and he determined I needed knee surgery but not for a while. I will give you a shot of cortisone which I declined. He was gone in less than 4 minutes.
Visit #2 I had numerous x-rays taken both in St.Catherines and Welland. To my knowledge he looked at one of my right foot. My worst problem was with my left foot and ankle. I had pictures of my car after the accident but was shut up every time I tried to convey my concerns and told just answer my questions. He told me there was nothing wrong with my feet and was about to leave when I confronted him and demanded an explanation for my pain. His remark was you should have come in when your feet were giving you trouble. “This was the first appointment I could get”, I said. His reply was that now I was established as a patient, I would get in sooner. I can’t asses your troubles when you are not experiencing them, I will give you a script for elastic stockings and some physiotherapy. See a nerve doctor or your family physician. He was still gone in 5 minutes but only because I had to ask these questions. I should hope this man is better with a scalpel than he is as a communicator. I hear that he is a great surgeon. Perhaps doctors should be required to take some direction or a course in social graces. People with health problems should not be treated like sub humans.
Paul D. Scott.