Wednesday, September 06, 2023
Health Care or Sick Care?
In June 2022, Martha sought medical help for suspected endometrial cancer. It took until December to get surgery in Winnipeg. By that time, it had metastasized. She developed excruciating pain in her right knee. Eventually, they gave her radiation to reduce the pain. Now, she is scheduled for surgery in October 2023 to restore the leg bones.
Now, she spends time at Cancer Care 2 or 3 times a week and continues to suffer a great deal of pain. The only treatment they can offer her now is addictive pain control and chemo until it no longer works. The cancer has become terminal.
There was hope that the new immunotherapy and targeted therapy to stimulate her immune system to fight the cancer would help. After weeks of painful side-effects, she developed immune related myocarditis. That required emergency care and hospitalization to administer prednisone to suppress her immune system.
Now we are between a rock and a hard place.
She's already spent a week in hospital getting prednisone and scan after scan. Don't know when she'll be able to go home.
Needless to say, I'm devastated.
Endometrial cancer is usually easily treatable if surgery happens early.
Now it's costing our health care system far more money than it would have if they had sent her to a US hospital.
A slow response to cancer drags the system down, and responses get even slower and more expensive.
But the worst of it is the needless suffering the patient and her family has to endure.
Governments should send patients out of province for treatment when our system is overloaded until the backlog is cleared.
What the British government is doing is the right thing with the TWO WEEK RULE