Saturday, March 1, 2014

Our Tax Dollars at Work

Gotta love government policy wonks.
Our provincial health care wonks have been beating their heads trying to shorten wait times for certain surgeries in this province.  They've done an admiral job, for the most part.
But sometimes, they just don't quite cut it!
A few years back, it was decided that a central assessment body should be established for knee and hip replacement surgeries.
Not a bad idea.  Take a lot of the surgeon's load away, freeing up time for actual surgeries.
So the Total Joint Assessment Clinic was established for the Ottawa region.
Three years ago, I was referred to that Clinic.
And that Clinic assessed me as needing to have both hips replaced.  My choice which one was done first.
By the time I saw the surgeon, it was very obvious which hip should be done first and we proceeded with replacing my left hip.
That went very well indeed.  I am two years post op and doing mahvelously darling.
I am now that surgeon's "patient," being seen by him on a regular basis and as he follows up on my left hip, he has also been monitoring my right hip.
Some six months ago, we decided that I should get in the queue to have the right hip replaced.  Given the length of time it would take to surgery date, seemed like a good plan.
Well, last week don't I get a call advising me that I had again been referred to the Assessment Clinic.
"If it's been more than two years," she told me, "you have to come through again."
Bizarre!  Policy changed last November in an effort to further shorten wait times.
Now I ask, if my surgeon was monitoring me, and has assessed me as part of a prior surgical follow-up, how does that assessment impact on his time in a negative way?  He was seeing me anyway.
So I have to take an afternoon out of my life to go to the big city to be reassessed.  Did they really think the hip had improved in the intervening three years?
That reassessment happened yesterday afternoon.
It cost me a round trip to the city that I could have done without.
It cost me a tremendous amount of walking.  (Why do they always locate these units furthermost from the entrance door?  They have to know that the majority of their patrons are mobility challenged!)
It cost me a $14.00 parking fee.
For what?  To spend five minutes with a nurse while she reviewed with me the risks associated with the surgery and had me sign off on having been advised of such risks.
That was it.
It was an assessment on paper only!
No check up.
No "assessment" whatsoever really. 
All in the name of allowing the hospital to bill the province for an assessment, claiming that they saved the surgeon the need to perform an assessment that he had already done.
Our tax dollars at work!

No comments: