Thursday, December 12, 2013

Eyes still on the issues

Thanks for the good wishes these past few days. Surgery on my left eye went well and the doctor's follow-up exam indicated a good result. In fact, within 24 hours I could see more out of the subject eye than before. Because of amblyopia, that's always been a bad eye so, when the right one has its cataract removed in February, overall vision will be much improved.

Today, if I close my right eye, the page I see with the repaired eye is stark white. With that closed, the right eye sees a yellowed page, distinctly off-white. Of course, cataracts don't merely affect brightness or colour perception; opaque lenses result in blurriness and other vision defects. The vision fault is often age-related but studies show that cataracts are at least in part dependent on the dose of ultraviolet light received by the lens. I choose to blame my childhood days living on the waters of Malaspina Strait.

Sometimes, we talk much about healthcare costs and forget the marvellous outcomes routinely available to many. We are fortunate but, collectively, we deserve the best medical system possible. It's an industry that employs hundreds of thousands in BC, most at good wages, and improves lives of citizens without regard to social standing. The BC government will bend over backwards to subsidize coal mining and gas production but disregards and regrets the valuable economic activity that occurs routinely in healthcare.

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6 comments:

  1. Agree partially, but the biggest blame is on several aspects which do not directly include government funding. One of course is the use of Emergency at hospitals for a hangnail or something non critical that could be better taken care of at a clinic. Emergency at hospitals is horrendously expensive, and should not be used for sprains or hangnails. A clinic can determine if a bloody nose is the result of a good right cross or a tumor. If it's critical, go to Emergency, but if it's just a sprain, the neighbourhood or outpatient clinic is a better choice. Second of course is over-administration which places a huge burden on a financially strapped healthcare system. One thing that is overlooked, is that there are only so many dollars to go into health care. And yet, we have those out there who are anti-everything including development of resources which would mean good paying jobs, and revenue from the sale of said resources. I am all for public health care, I do not support the US model where about 1/4 of Americans do not have health care insurance like we do with MSP. I would rather pay out up to $85.00 for a heavily subsidized ambulance run to the hospital here, rather than the same trip costing the patient $850 in the United States. Yes we do need improvement to our health care system, and better provisions for our front line paramedics, but health care dollars can only go so far. The biggest problem is transfer of funds from the federal govenrment which were intiially cut off by Paul Martin. But even prior to that, the health care system was never perfect when the NDP was in power either.Things do need to be fixed, and frankly it doesn't matter to me if it was BC Liberal or the NDP. Just get the rear in gear and get it done.

    ReplyDelete
  2. May I offer a correction on a $850 ambulance run in the USA. In Las Vegas two years ago at a rugby tournament, a player on my son's team was rushed to hospital, with a not too serious injury. The total bill, including the ambulance and a two hour stay at the emergency ward cost around $35,000 (yes, that's right $35,000), which the ambulance portion, with a paramedic, was over $5000!!!

    Luckily it was, of course, covered by insurance, but the insurance company was still fighting the bill one year later.

    Be thankful for MSP, what every you pay.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I also heard of a story similar to the $35K example.
      So snowbirds are (almost) happy to shell out $1,200 per person for travel medical insurance.
      It's worth it.

      Ditto to being thankful for MSP.

      Delete
  3. I had cataracts removed in each eye this year myself, so I know how you must feel. Your descriptions mirror my observations. But it was pretty amazing to suddenly see colours again. Blues were just amazing. Now six months after the second op, it just seems normal.

    Surgery was easy and I've had worse dental appointments.

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  4. First the right eye. Uh oh! Then the right eye. Yikes! Now both eyes. Heavens to murgatroyd! No matter how I look at you web site, the page is yellowish and distinctly off-white. ;-)
    Happy to hear all went well for you Norman

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  5. Good to hear things went well.....after waiting 3 weeks from the initial diagnosis I just received the appointment to see the specialist to make an assessment....... in JUNE! Fortunately so far its not too bad but rather scary as I have no sight in the other eye. I just hope my surgery, whenever that happens, is just as successful.

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