Delay of Game

The CBC reports today:

The Queen Elizabeth Hospital needs up to $22 million in repairs according to a report tabled in the P.E.I. legislature on Friday. It says the hospital is in critical need of improvement, that it is outdated, and unable to deliver core services according to national standards… Doctors who work at the hospital conducted the study.

Later in the same story comes Health Minister Chester Gillan’s response:

Health minister Chester Gillan said the report doesn’t go far enough. He said Friday that his department will try to find out exactly what work needs to done.
“Our next step is to put a functional committee together to take a look at how are we going to do this.”

Anyone with any experience at all with bureacracy, especially the extra-special variety of health bureacracy, knows that “put a functional committee together” means “we’re going to have lots of pointless meetings for three years before we do anything.”

Frankly, I fully prepared to take the word of the doctors at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital about what needs to be done; if you need to raise my taxes to do the work, go ahead. Just do it, and stop the obfuscating.


Jason's picture
Jason on April 30, 2004 - 23:22 Permalink

Too right Peter. Unreal. They work there day and night…..the Government should take their word. Esentially it’s a “let’s create lots of work for our friends and spend lots of money” instead of listening to the people involved first.

Mandy's picture
Mandy on May 1, 2004 - 02:46 Permalink

Maybe we should take a new apporach. When the docs cross paths with the government officials on the golf course, they can voice it in a language easier to understand. “I win this game, you get me more hospital equipment…”

Ritchie Simpson's picture
Ritchie Simpson on May 1, 2004 - 12:16 Permalink

The “report” that our overworked doctors were able to find the time to put together is a political document no more no less, and is designed to kick start the process that it has The doctors are counting on an uncritical emotional response from the public to give their side legs.
Gillan’s response is reasonable; I sudder to think what would unfold if any Gov were to respond to a report like this one with an immediate blank cheque, no planning and no negotiation. Get in line Teachers! Get in line Clerical Unions! Get in line Road Crews!
If we want good government we have to apply more than our indignation to the issues of the day. A good start would be by recognizing that we are at sea in an ocean of cynicism.

Marcus's picture
Marcus on May 1, 2004 - 14:24 Permalink

Thankfully I haven’t stepped foot in that building in 10 years. The building is now around 23 years old and I can’t think of any significant renovation work that has gone on, aside from adding that ugly extension near the therapy pool, plus redesigning the entrance and possibly some work out back near the new helipad. BTW — the city & province should really plant a pile of trees along Riverside Drive to shield motorists from the rambling campus — too much white and institutional orange for the eyes.

What does $24 million get? The building cost something like $60 million back in the early 80’s (same cost as M/V Abegweit at the time). Converting $60 mil in 1981 to today’s dollars shows the QEH would cost $130 million in 2004 to build from scratch.

$24 mil… if gov’t had allocated $1 mil in capital investment each year since the building was constructed… STOP! forward thinking by politicians in PEI is forbidden.

Rob Paterson's picture
Rob Paterson on May 1, 2004 - 21:05 Permalink

Of course our health is utterly dependent on Doctors and we must do everything they ask for

Peter Rukavina's picture
Peter Rukavina on May 2, 2004 - 05:00 Permalink

Yes, our healthcare system is too doctor-focused.

But when I chop my arm off with a chain saw, I’m not looking for a self-help group or a website or a nurse practitioner. I want a well-equipped medical team, led by a well-equipped doctor, working in a state-of-the-art facility.

Same thing goes when I’m having my gallbladder removed, getting a colonoscopy, having my son delivered by C-section, or finding out why said son’s temperature is 104 degrees at 3:00 a.m. on a Sunday morning. All of which (except the arm and chain saw trick) I have been through in the past 3 years.

Every single doctor I have encountered at the QEH has treated my family with respect and professionalism. They’re smart, caring people who know their stuff. Same thing is true of the nurses, technologists, food service staff, cleaners, parking lot attendants, and everyone else who works at the QEH.

I’m completely willing to take the word of doctors on hospital planning: the QEH is their workshop, and its medical equipment is their tools. If they say it’s broken and needs replacement and expansion and if they want $22 million to create a world-class hospital, let’s give it to them. That’s about $225 per elector. Or, by coincidence, about what it cost to build that silly Atlantic Technology Centre (a folly perpetuated mostly by not listening to industry practitioners, but rather by following the advice of developmentocrats who had never wielded a scalpel).

Mandy's picture
Mandy on May 2, 2004 - 05:51 Permalink

Well said Peter.

From a person who has also seen her share of hospitals in her life time, we need to smarten up and take a hold of our Island’s health care and foster it.

Islanders should *not* have to go to Halifax for tests. It should not cost them personal funds to go for a day, a week or longer to get medical care out of city. Of course, they may always be cause to do so, but cutting down unneeded travel and expenses is so very important. Not only does it hurt a person’s pocket book, but it also can really effect and hinder a person’s recovery, or well being. It’s not easy being away from home.

Our hospital is great. The staff really treat you with kindness, tenderness and corny as it sound, love. But love can’t out that arm back on. As Peter said, the reality is that our world really needs doctors. And doctors need the right supports in place so they can better do their job and care for the people who cross their path.

I do wonder about society’s priorities at times. It’s really heartbreakingly desperate.