For over two years, anytime mandates were questioned we were told that one COVID death was one death too many. Now New Brunswick is in an actual crisis and no one seems to care.
The healthcare system in New Brunswick is collapsing. Full stop. Where is the sense of urgency? People are dying in our emergency rooms under abnormal and preventable circumstances. Emergency rooms are not operating 24/7. People who need medical care are either being turned away all together or told to bring pillows and snacks because the wait will be so long, and there is a good chance an ambulance is sitting unstaffed or in a hospital parking lot waiting to get off-loaded. Why don't our politicians consider this an emergency?
And as usual and as we've seen since COVID started, the Karens are out in full force, judging people for going to an emergency room, like they did with this couple who was turned away from 3 different emergency rooms before getting help. Oh, and there's this; for two years if you dared question COVID mandates, you were almost certain to be asked where you received your medical degree. Now, we're expected to self-diagnose sudden and potentially serious symptoms to determine whether or not to seek medical attention?
Don't go to an ER, visit a clinic instead. Oh, wait....
The last numbers I saw stated that New Brunswick is short 101 physicians, that doesn't include the hundred or so specialists. So where should 60,000 plus people go to seek health care if they don't have a family doctor? Obviously, the emergency room isn't optimal and it is sound advice to suggest they use a walk-in clinic instead. But what happens when the walk-in clinics aren't available? It was announced that the Queens North Community Health Centre in Minto was temporarily closing due to staffing shortages, it's not the first and it won't be the last. Mind you, it was for 24 hours, but without being brought into check, this will become the norm. Instead of actually fixing the system and hiring more healthcare workers, I imagine the Province will merely start rotating closures to solve their problem.
Having a baby? Not in your hometown.
Campbellton Regional Hospital hasn't offered obstetrics since spring of 2020 due to lack of specialists and nurses. Nothing has been done to correct this in over two years, so mothers-to-be must drive for over an hour to Bathurst to deliver their babies. Most people might not think this is a huge thing, but I still recall last fall during the campaign to vilify New Brunswickers who chose not to take part in the COVID vaccine trials, officials played on the emotions of the public by blaming the unvaccinated for taking up hospital beds (which they weren't) as the reason mothers would have to travel to different cities to have their babies and wouldn't that be awful?
It turns out the actual problem might be that no one in the recruiting office knows how to return phone calls and then there's this...
Need an ambulance? Our thoughts and prayers are with you.
Recently, Brianne Sebey's daughter was struggling to breathe after having a seizure and it took more than 30 minutes for the closest, operating ambulance to come from Florence-Bristol to their home in Perth-Andover, a 40 km drive. What makes this even more remarkable is that there was an unstaffed ambulance nearby, collecting dust. To add insult to injury, the emergency department at the Hotel-Dieu of St. Joseph Hospital was closed, so instead of being transported less than 5 km to hospital, Brianne's daughter was taken to the Upper River Valley Hospital 60 km away.
In the beginning of July, a Blackville resident experienced a cardiac event and required an ambulance. The nearest ambulance was 45 minutes away, which in such an event is an eternity.
And what happens next? You're likely to end up sitting in the ambulance at the hospital parking lot, possibly for hours, waiting to get off-loaded and taken into the hospital. Hell, your luggage on an Air Canada flight gets treated better and that's saying a lot.
It took two unnecessary and preventable deaths in less than a month at New Brunswick ERs for the crisis being experienced in those departments to be brought to the forefront. Will it take the same in an ambulance for us to wake up to that crisis as well? I hope not.
Huge, huge credit must go out to the paramedics though. Even under these unfathomable and unacceptable circumstances, they are getting the job done and saving lives. We just need more of them.
Our healthcare workers are at their breaking point.
How much more can we ask our healthcare workers to shoulder? They're not machines, they are human beings with families and lives outside of the system. They work ridiculous hours in unimaginable conditions and our government keeps asking for more, it is inhumane. What happens when they don't have anymore to give?
This isn't a current government only issue, this crisis has been in the making for years, but this is the government that sat on hundreds of millions of dollars while simultaneously watching the system deteriorate while also blaming it on a group of people who had zero culpability. The unvaccinated made for a great scapegoat though, didn't they?
Then after a person died in an ER waiting room at the DECH, a new scapegoat was needed and Premier Higgs found several. He unceremoniously fired the CEO of Horizon, Dr. John Dornan and revoked the boards of both Horizon and Vitalitè, yet he shuffled the chairs around on the deck of the Titanic, I mean, Dorothy Shephard from the role of Minister of Health to Minister of Social Development while praising her for all she had done in the department over the course of the pandemic.
Is he referring to her broken promise of determining the cause behind the mystery brain disease? Her broken promise of eliminating the patient care wait list by ensuring that every New Brunswicker had access to a family doctor? The constant revising of her miraculous, yet failing healthcare plan? Her failure to recruit and retain nurses? She shouldn't have been merely shifted to another cabinet position, hell, why not give her a promotion? That's all good news for Minister Fitch though, the bar has been set pretty low by his predecessor.
The next question is, if the CEO of Horizon was fired after an abnormal death in an ER, shouldn't the CEO of Vitalitè be next?
There are still people who comment online and in social media stating that the healthcare system is broken because of masks, or lack thereof and COVID, COVID, COVID. Get real. Do you see bodies piling up in the streets from COVID? It's broken because of piss-poor management. Apparently they have a plan to fix it but we're not allowed to know what that plan is. Why aren't we allowed to know what that plan is? A reasonable guess might be it's because they don't actually have one.
The bottom line is when our doctors and nurses have to take to social media, literally begging us to not do anything that may cause us to end up in an ER because the system is so broken and they don't know if they can save us, we're in trouble. Yet, the silence from our politicians, of every political stripe, and the public at large is deafening.
What will the breaking point be?
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