Founder's Blog

Why you should forget everything you learned about medical appointments!

I was thinking in the shower today about medical appointments. I have previously written on this topic.

Many, or most, hospitals in Toronto now offer diagnostic tests 24/7 by appointment. My own father has had several at Princess Margaret Hospital to follow cancer treatment he had a few years ago. These include CT scans, MRI, x-rays, etc.

Nurses, as you well know, work eight or twelve-hour shifts. So why can’t doctors?

Let’s say we have two oncologists. Why can’t Oncologist A work days Weeks 1 and 3, and nights Weeks 2 and 4. With Oncologist B working days Weeks 2 and 4, and nights weeks 1 and 3. And when I say nights, I mean 8 pm to 3 am to accommodate those who work evenings and nights.

The funny thig is, I’m certain you won’t have a problem finding people who want this!

So why aren’t we doing it already? So many professionals work shift work. Emergency Department doctors work shift work. So why can’t the doctors who run our oncology clinics, or renal clinics work shift work?

I think we need to have a conversation on how our healthcare providers work with our professors/school, employers, landlords, etc. Everyone probably tells you that “your health comes first.” That’s total BS. Without money to pay the rent, and purchase groceries, the treatment means nothing.

It’s time we put patients first. It’s time for us to stand up and ask for better services.

Case in point – Here in Barrie we didn’t have in-centre dialysis. That meant if you were admitted to the hospital, you had to be transported to another hospital for dialysis. Almost 2 years ago I started writing letters to the CEO of the local hospital, and this past April I cut the ribbon for the new dialysis unit.

So let’s have the conversation and improve patient health by offering clinical appointments 24/7.

Founder's Blog

A livable work week

Pay check to pay check, week to week, mouth to mouth. We’re not really living.

I firmly believe that we work too much. I have a friend here in Barrie, who works 6 days a week. You’d think that would be illegal, but you’d be wrong. The Ontario Employment Standards Act only limits the number of hours per week, and how many hours you should have off between shifts. Other than that, 6 days a week is acceptable. To me it isn’t.

There is no time to relax, no time to enjoy the result of all our hard work.

[themify_quote]Income insecurity affects many Canadians – in 2005, 10.8% of Canadians were under the poverty line, and nearly half of Canadians polled by Environics in 2006 said they were only one or two missed paycheques away from poverty. – CPJ[/themify_quote]

“We know that families and individuals in British Columbia who are caught in the cycle of poverty have really no hope in exiting that cycle and certainly tweaking the system that we have now with small amounts of money is not going to solve the problem.” – Jane Sterk, former BC Green Party leader.

Some of the ways we propose to fix some of this are:

  • A 4 day work week. Let’s give people more time to enjoy some R&R.
  • Paying a higher wage.
  • Lessening the stress on employees.

While a Guaranteed Annual Income would be paid by the government, a minimum wage should be kept so employers don’t take advantage and pay low ages. At the same time it would ideally raise wages, and give some competition for employees.