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Home » Articles » cognizance: healthcare  
cognizance: healthcare
Thu Mar 15, 2007

I have strong but ambivalent feelings about our healthcare system.

I love that it's there. It is amazing. If you don't feel well, there is a place you can go where they will help you feel better. And you get better for free, that is, you do not pay for it directly, we all pay for it indirectly. Truly amazing. Thanks TC.

And the care that you receive is very good. There are some bumps, of course, such as getting someone who has not quite perfected the procedure for inserting a needle (ouch!), but by and large the people are very good with good morale, good demeanor. And of course they should feel good, they are doing something very worthwhile with their lives, they are helping sick and injured people feel better. Hey, they give medals for that. Hats off. Salutes. High Fives.

But ... but there's something about the system itself, that's just wrong, wrong because it could be so much better. After all, this is first and foremost about helping people who are sick and injured to get better. But there is always this sense of guardedness, being on the defensive, reacting as though they have been accused, when a simple question is asked.

It is no doubt the result of the fact that on the frontline, the health care workers must face the consequences of an ineffective system of delivery. The techniques are extraordinary, the results amazing, but the delivery leaves much to be desired. We put no emphasis on it because we don't think its important, or at least we don't treat it like it is. But it is, immensely so. For so many reasons. A more effective system, one that is less focused on avoiding blame and concentrating on how can we do this better. The patients in the hospital can tell you how you can do it better. They lay there and watch how things are done, things that are done with them, to them. A very interesting vantage point. A little like customers. Or tax payers. Or club members.

They can tell you that if the attitude were less, sorry I can't help you there and more, how can I help because after all, that's why I'm here, because I like helping people. That's a good thing. And we like people who like to help other people. They're the absolute best people, bar none. We want you to be proud of that, more proud than we are of our serviceman. We are the nation that created Dr Bethune. Surely we can make our system better, in fact the best.

I know we can.

ernie marshall

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