Over the past few weeks my family has had to make use of the medical services we pay for through our taxes and the Medical Services Plan of B.C., and I have to say, ours has been a positive experience.
I won’t go into the particulars of why, but I think it is helpful to say who attended to our needs and where. Our first stop was the Health Care Centre in Chemainus; then an ambulance trip between there and the Cowichan District Hospital in Duncan. At every stage we met professional, supportive people; not once did we feel neglected or ill-served.
To put this into perspective, we were expecting the worst. Our natural trepidation on crossing the threshold into ‘institutionalized’ care has been confirmed, without our having had much direct experience, by countless horror stories swapped at parties and beamed through the media
If reports were to be believed, you’d almost expect to go in for heart surgery, only to come out with your feet sewn on backwards.
Again, to put things into perspective, at CDH there was indeed lots of paperwork, plenty of waiting around while specialists were summoned, tests conducted, a bed found.
But there wasn’t a moment when we felt our needs – not to mention the needs of hundreds of others – had not been acknowledged and were not being diligently attended to.
True the specialist who did deal with our case seemed abrupt, almost to the point of rudeness. We would learn in a subsequent visit he was at the point of exhaustion due to the number of hours he had put in.
The point is, even though there were stretches of time we had to make small talk, and where a bed in the corridor was the only option, we were still being taken care of by professionals who were cheerful and respectful. They managed to make an ‘institutionalized’ environment caring.
Cowichan District Hospital has a four star rating on Google. In our experience the Chemainus Health Care Centre and the BC Ambulance Service deserve the same.