Be duly warned: bureaucracies may be hazardous to your health.
Our family has been plunged with very little warning into the icy waters of a serious health issue. Along with the illness comes the aftershock of being injected into what I would have to call loosely a “system.” So, it’s not just icy waters, it’s also rocky rapids. Or in the case of the medical bureaucracies rocky slows.
Let me be clear. The doctors that we have met with have been truly excellent. We are so blessed in that regard. The bureaucracies, not so much.
1) We booked our Disneyland vacation on Saturday night online. On Tuesday afternoon, I had a knock on the door and a UPS guy handed me all our vacation paperwork complete with souvenir coin, luggage tags, and if I can believe Krystal, (who left a friendly note in the package), a little extra pixie dust.
2) We met with a surgeon last Tuesday. We were told that we would get the initial surgery within a week. We get no call on Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday. We call the doctor’s office, no answer. Hmmm. Well, he is a surgeon, so maybe his office hours are a little scattered. On Monday, we get the receptionist, who says not to worry, we will get a call soon. When pressed, she gets a little snippy and explains that it wasn’t realized until Friday that test results needed to be acquired from one hospital and delivered to another one. (This is a driving distance of perhaps 1/2 hour) So, they are waiting for those test results to arrive from the first hospital, before the results can be examined and the need prioritized. We hear nothing until Thursday morning. This first surgery is not scheduled until mid-August, the 2nd a week later.
And no souvenir coin, luggage tags or pixie dust.
So, while the Disneyland Corp. can get something from Anaheim to Surrey in less than 2 business days, and let’s remember that distance includes an international border, our medical system cannot even realize it NEEDS to get some paperwork from point A to point B in 4 business days and then can’t actually GET the paperwork for another 3 business days (I’m assuming it arrived on Wednesday, and all the work got done Thursday morning, but I’m being generous). And all that paperwork had to do was cross one city boundary.
Please use this as a warning to all you out there facing medical issues:
- Do not assume you will be contacted (that is especially true of tests, DO NOT assume that if you haven’t been called, the test results are fine)
- Do not walk out of any office before getting a firm commitment to the date that you will be called or the date that you are scheduled
- Get the name and number and working schedule of the person or office responsible for doing the follow-up calls or appointments.
- Ask if they have all the information that they need. Keep copies of any test results they will let you have so you can provide them at a nano-second’s notice.
- Keep all your notes and paperwork together in one place, take them with you to EVERY appointment.
A final plea to the BC medical system: BC you need to get your act together. When people are sick they need the system to respond quicker, more competently, and more sympathetically than this. The doctors we’ve met have been excellent. Those excellent doctors need to have a support system that allows them to do their best work and get the best results. I’m sure the government would like to bask in that reflected glory.
Maybe you need to get your bureaucrats trained by the Disney Corp. Krystal might even be available for you to steal away for the right price. Illness as vacation resort–it’s a paradigm shift I grant you–but it can’t be any worse than what you’re doing now.
And I think a souvenir coin would be nice.