June 17, 2003

My nine year old grandson has been sick since last week Friday. He has been experiencing terrible stomach cramps, diarrhea and temperatures of 102.3 . Yesterday morning my daughter called me to tell me that during the night he had noticed blood in his stool. She told me that she had called the “Communist Clinic” to try and make an appointment for Grandson with her family doctor. She was told by the receptionist that her family doctor was the doctor on call at the Walk in Clinic that afternoon and that she should bring Grandson in after 1:00 PM. My daughter asked me to pick them up at 12:45 PM so that they would be one of the first ones on the list to see the doctor at 1:00 PM.

Several years ago I had made a promise to myself never to darken the doors of the communist clinic as long as I lived. However, with my grandson’s health at stake I had no choice but to go. I picked up my daughter and Grandson and we arrived at the clinic at 12:45 PM. You can imagine our surprise when we discovered that we were going to be added to a long list of patients. The receptionist informed us that it would be a minimum one hour wait. Several people in the waiting room had been there since 11:00 AM.

Quite the medical system we have in this country when children with severe stomach cramps and diarrhea are made to wait two and a half hours before they can actually see a doctor! Yes, we waited a full two hours before my daughter and Grandson were called into an examination room. It took another thirty minutes before they had the privilege of a face to face with “the Princess.” We might as well live in a third world country. I guess we should be grateful that we do have the privilege of sitting on chairs under a roof while we wait to see these esteemed professionals. In some countries you would have to stand in line under a hot sun.

I am tempted to tell my grandson that when he grows up he should definitely become a doctor. He would have rooms full of people waiting to see him all day long and he would earn fabulous money just by giving them the privilege of a ten minute meeting with him.
My grandson provided the lab with a stool sample. The nurse called my daughter at home later that afternoon to confirm the blood. My daughter was told to be at the clinic the next morning at 8:30 AM to discuss this lab report. She and Grandson arrived at the clinic precisely at 8:30 AM only to be told by the doctor on call that nothing could be done for my grandson because the cultures were not back. I have no idea why this message could not have been conveyed to my daughter via telephone. It seems rather ludicrous to drag a sick child out of bed for an appointment only to be told to go back home and wait. Actually I have often wondered if some of our medical professionals have problems with the complexity of the modern telephone. The doctor informed my daughter that my grandson would have to wait for five days before any kind of treatment would be considered.

This whole experience further emphasized why I boycott the Communist Clinic. I would hate to think what would happen if a person had a life threatening emergency. It seems to me that our medical system is leaning towards survival of the fittest.

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