Monday, March 21, 2011

We're number 1! (Well, tied for it, at least.)

That’s right, Manitobans are getting their radiation therapies within medically recommended wait times. All of us. One hundred percent.
In fact, a recent report states that slightly better than 8 out of 10 Canadians are receiving surgeries in a timely fashion (defined by “within medically recommended wait time”). That’s pretty darn good. It's an A on our national transcript. Yes, it would suck to be one of the '2 of 10' that has an extended delay, but there are numerous factors that might require your surgery to be delayed. Other medical complications, for example, can bump that surgical procedure far into the future. They aren’t going to cut you open until you have an outside chance of surviving, for instance, and if you’re not healthy enough, there isn’t much point in pulling out the scalpel.
National average for radiation therapy is 98%. Bypass surgery? Ninety-nine percent. We drift down to the high 70’s for hip replacements and knee surgeries, and that’s unfortunate, but you’ve got to be a pretty selfish person not to be willing to delay your titanium knee to open up a space for someone to get their ticker working again.
(There is no wait time at all for emergency procedures, by the way. The above stats deal only with scheduled surgeries. Virtually no developed nation has any appreciable wait time for emergency surgeries.)
As Canadians, it is our right to complain as widely as we want about almost any topic. Complaining is an indoor, year-round sport; with our eight-month winters, we need as many of those as we can get.
But maybe we should give our health care system a break. Surely we can find something else to whine about, just for a bit. Weather, that’s always a classic. How about the escalating frequency of drivers that aren’t familiar with how to use their turn signals? And if it’s really wait times you’re yearning to attack, why not complain about the drive-thru line-ups at your local Timmie’s?

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