The sad story of health care, recreation and social media

"The mere notion that a doctor could refuse to treat a patient because of political views defies explanation."

The revelation last week that two Trail councillors were refused treatment at the Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital raises issues on so many levels.

The mere notion that a doctor could refuse to treat a patient because of political views defies explanation.

Perhaps that’s why the Interior Health Authority offered a standard PR response and a “no comment” when contacted by the Trail Times.

The idea that anyone connected to health care in our country could simply refuse on the grounds “they didn’t want to,” seems troubling at the least.

It obviously opens the door to so much other abuse.

No care for the reporter who wrote the story?

No care for the teacher that gave the doctor’s child a bad grade?

No care for the car dealer that sold a lemon to the doctor?

No care for anyone associated with a company whose telemarketer called at suppertime?

The fact that IHA hasn’t publicly come out and condemned such actions by its employees begs the question, “Who are they taking care of – the patients or the professionals?”

That said, the entire affair also shines a light on the contentious state of the recreation issue.

There are several stories how the current method of enforcing fees has caused distressed.

Not only have councillors been refused treatment at the hospital, another involves parents stunned by the cost facing them for bringing their large family for a swim at the pool.

Or a child unable to share in after-program snacks because they live in a different region that didn’t contribute to the recreation program.

The ripple effects of the current recreation climate continue to impact the very people the facilities are meant to serve.

The one light at the end of the tunnel is a renewed effort by newly-elected representatives to settle this issue and offer an equitable solution that works for everyone.

However, even if the recreation issue is resolved, the matter of a doctor refusing to treat a patient over personal feelings should send a shiver through anyone heading to an emergency room.

Who is on call? Have I done anything that might offend that doctor? Will the doctor provide the best possible care for me or perhaps only enough to send me home because outright refusal would cause too much bad publicity?

Those are questions we should never be asking in a country that boasts universal health care.

However, now it is a legitimate question. If it can happen to one person in a small town, it can happen again.

It’s unfortunate that the actions of one doctor will paint everyone’s apprehension of who cares for them at the Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital, which is staffed by so many caring and attentive health care workers.

It’s also unfortunate Interior Health isn’t taking a bigger stance on this.

Sadly IHA did offer a token “apology” when contacted by the CBC. No such apology was forthcoming when the Trail Times made the same contact days before.

Again, a bigger magnifying glass got different results.

In a country where we would hope people are treated the same, especially when it comes to health care, the opposite is rearing its head.

*****

The sidebar to this sad tale is to read the CBC’s abbreviated version of the story then the torrent of comments on its website.

If anything, it confirms the fact that just because you have a computer doesn’t make you any smarter.

In fact, some of the idiotic comments only reinforce my theory on people who post comments. While many are thought provoking, there are enough idiots out there who can derail sensible conversation into sensationalistic.

I’m always amazed when credible news organizations refer to “an online backlash,” over a story or a comment.

First of all the over-used word “backlash” is generated by a small percentage of people who appear to simply enjoy seeing their name or nickname show up on national websites.

Their comments are usually so far removed from correct that it borders on comedy.

A co-worker perfectly summed up most comment sections on the Internet with “I wasn’t listening but I strongly disagree.”

Yet for some reason national news reporters love to see 1,000 comments on a story.

If most are negative then the next story can respond to the “outrage on social media,” even if the comments are written by someone just trolling websites.

The world’s fascination with everything “social media,” continues to be a sad commentary on the state of our society.

Just Posted

The Independent Investigations Office of BC is looking into a Castlegar incident. File photo
Police watchdog investigating Castlegar incident

IIO: Woman sustained a reportedly self-inflicted injury

A wildfire near Cottonwood Lake was put out by Nelson firefighters Sunday night. Photo: Submitted
Wildfire extinguished near Cottonwood Lake

Lightning-caused fire was near one of Nelson’s water sources

West Kootenay Regional Airport. Photo: Betsy Kline
Central Mountain Air leaving Castlegar airport in July

The airline says market can’t handle two airlines

Photo: Trail Times
Trail RCMP start June by nabbing impaired drivers

Latest brief from the Trail and Greater District police

“This is very costly to replace and it seems that Rossland is getting more and more theft and vandalism happening, which is really unfortunate,” says the commission’s Michelle Fairbanks. Photo: Submitted
Two plaques stolen from Rossland heritage square

The plaques were located at Washington and Columbia by the Olaus statue

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

FILE – Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about B.C.’s plan to restart the province during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials watching U.K.’s Delta variant struggles, ‘may need to slow’ restart plan

Studies show that one dose of vaccine is only 33 per cent effective in preventing B.1.617.2 spread

RCMP Const. Shelby Patton is shown in this undated handout photo. RCMP say that Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over on Saturday morning in Wolseley, east of Regina. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, RCMP
Pair charged in Saskatchewan Mountie’s death make first court appearance

Const. Shelby Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over Saturday morning

David and Collet Stephan leave for a break during an appeal hearing in Calgary on Thursday, March 9, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Todd Korol
Appeal Court rejects stay for Alberta couple facing third trial in son’s death

Pair accused in their earlier trials of not seeking medical attention for their son sooner

Highway notices like this come down effective June 14. Public health restrictions on non-essential travel and commercial operation have hit local businesses in every corner of B.C. (B.C. government)
Province-wide travel back on in B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan

Gathering changes include up to 50 people for outdoor events

Calgary Stampeders’ Jerome Messam leaps over a tackle during second half CFL western semifinal football action in Calgary, Sunday, Nov. 15, 2015.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
CFL football will be played this summer in Canada

Governors vote unanimously in favour to start the ‘21 campaign on Aug. 5

Citizenship Minister Marco Mendicino holds a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, Nov. 12, 2020. The federal government is announcing that Indigenous people can now apply to reclaim their names on passports and other government documents. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Indigenous people can now reclaim traditional names on their passports and other ID

Announcement applies to all individuals of First Nations, Inuit and Métis background

Harvesting hay in the Fraser Valley. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)
COVID-19: B.C. waives farm income requirement for a second year

Property owners don’t need minimum income for 2022 taxes

Cruise ship passengers arrive at Juneau, Alaska in 2018. Cruise lines have begun booking passengers for trips from Seattle to Alaska as early as this July, bypassing B.C. ports that are not allowed to have visitors until March 2022 under a Canadian COVID-19 restrictions. (Michael Penn/Juneau Empire)
B.C. doesn’t depend on U.S. law to attract cruise ships, Horgan says

Provinces to get update next week on Canada’s border closure

Most Read