As a former reporter and editor at the Tribune, Diana French carries on sharing her ideas through her weekly column. (Photo submitted)

FRENCH CONNECTION: Senior’s experience with health care

Columnist Diana French reflects on the health care system with praise and suggestions

As a senior senior, I’m one of the growing crowd that’s currently helping mess up our health care system.

Most of my generation believe we were “good” citizens. We worked hard, paid our taxes, voted, helped our neighbours, etc. and now we think it’s payback time.

The problem is our numbers are growing and we’re living too long. We aren’t cheap to keep, we’re a strain on a health system that wasn’t designed to cope with so many of us.

I’ve whined about waiting six weeks for a lab test, and having appointments postponed. Some members of my family don’t have a family doctor and some friends have had scary experiences within the system.

We’ve heard enough from the professionals and the media to know there are real problems in health care, but a recent ten-day stay as a patient in Cariboo Memorial Hospital showed me another side of the story, and that is the front line health care providers are making things work.

I have absolutely no complaints about my hospital stay. I felt I was in good hands all the way, thanks to the ambulance team, doctors, nurses, staff, including the kitchen people. Hospital food is believed to be dismal but the meals I had were just fine.

I really believe those who go into the caring professions, like health care, must have an extra gene that gives them the ability to do their jobs with special care and kindness.

My experience doesn’t mean the health system doesn’t need a thorough review from top down.

The first step should be a look at the province’s five health authorities. Twenty years ago when they were formed they didn’t have to deal with a pandemic, too many ailing old folks, etc.

What were efficiencies then may not be efficient now.

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