“Sometimes people get frustrated, there’s crying, there’s sneezing and coughing…every person we see deserves the due diligence and due care in order for us to make no mistakes..the wait is for a reason..to provide the best care” – Dr. Oscar at ER
What’s holding back “is the government really,” Dr. Rocco says. The Comprehensive proposal of having an angioplasty machine was submitted to the Ministry of Health in January of 2010. In over 16 months “we haven’t got any official feedback.”
“My greatest concern will be the issue of regionalized care..that’s what’s most important for us..if it goes back to centralized model [that’s run] out of Ministry of Health..then we would be in the same lineup as..Ottawa and Windsor. We very much prefer regional model care..which virtually every other part of the world has,” Mr. Matt Anderson on LHIN.
Mr. Matt Anderson, President and CEO of William Osler Foundation tells the media that the Hospital has been waiting since January 2010 to get the Ministry of Health to fund $2 million machine for angioplasty
While the Brampton Civic hospital has had a few bumps in outreaching to the South Asian community, the Hospital is very much looking forward to working with the community now. A few days ago, the hospital arranged a South Asian media tour of the hospital. The media was taken to the Emergency Ward, Cardiology department, natal care services and Multifaith room.
It was incredible to see how the government’s inefficiency in providing healthcare and lack of responsiveness results in higher healthcare costs and inconvenience to patients who are already in much pain and distress. This inefficiency also leads to higher salaries for doctors who don’t need to be paid twice to provide one service. While hospitals like Brampton Civic Hospital may have sufficient resources, money wasted on one department can be effectively used in another department to provide better healthcare to patients.
Focus on Natural Light
As we walked into the Brampton Civic Hospital, we were told that the lounge at the very entrance of the hospital is redecorated depending upon the seasons and festivities. A couple of weeks ago it was decorated in a way to offer Spring feeling to patients, families and friends. Ramneet Gaddi was our tour guide. While walking up and down the Brampton Civic Hospital on a Sunday, she never let us forget that the Hospital’s building is designed in a way to let plenty of natural light into the hospital. It reminded me of my dad who constantly told us as children that natural sunlight is free Vitamin D and good for moral spirit.
Dr. Oscar Karbi, physician at ER with Ms. Ferrari
As we walked into the Emergency Ward, there were fewer people than what I had expected for the ER. Ms. Kiki Ferrari, Director of Emergency and Critical Care Services, in her soft voice told us that Brampton Civic Hospital’s ER is one of the busiest departments of hospitals in Ontario.
The ER was visited by 110,000 patients in 2010. The patient growth was 24 per cent when on an average the growth rate is usually 3 per cent. But “we meet our volume’s needs,” said Ms. Ferrari. “In fact we have lowered our wait times by 1.5 hours,” she said. The ER at Brampton Civic Hospital meets the Ontario Ministry of Health’s criteria of getting the patients out of the ER within eight hours.
She pointed out that the nurse at the triage is trained to know which patients need to be seen urgently and which patients can actually wait a little longer, “The goal,” however “is not to have anybody wait,” she stated. “The large portions of the patients who come in are very sick..they require a large number of doctors and nurses’ attention, so it takes them away from other patients,” noted Ms. Ferrari.
As we walked into the ER, a patient’s family member complained that the patient was yet to be seen by a doctor or a nurse after three hours of wait. Later Ms. Ferrari clarified that the patient was seen by a health professional.
She noted that many times, nurses have actually seen a patient, but patients still feel that they are not being seen. “Some people don’t recognize that they have seen a nurse already if they are waiting to be stretchered in the hallway.” The patients are moved in depending on the stretcher availability.
The ER has a 24 hours diagnostic centre where X-rays, CT scans, MRIs etc can be done as the need may be. Brampton Civic Hospital has its own Pediatric area that provides “the most appropriate care.”
The ER at the Hospital has two physicians at the night time. “Other hospitals are coming to us to ask how we got the two physicians at night time,” says Ms. Ferrari with a great sense of deserved pride.
Dr. Oscar, a physician at Brampton Civic Hospital’s ER pointed out that “this is a very very high volume hospital. Sometimes the community sees that there is no doctor around, but there is always a doctor around..to provide the best care. Sometimes people get frustrated, there’s crying, there’s sneezing and coughing…every person we see deserves the due diligence and due care in order for us to make no mistakes..the wait is for a reason..to provide the best care.”
Many times people visit the ER only because other healthcare centres are closed or people are not sure where to go to other than the ER. When should people come to the ER?
“Everybody has their own definition of emergency in their mind. But if it’s emergency, you have to come to the Hospital…don’t wait if you feel that it’s an emergency.. We have more physicians working in the evenings because the community comes toward the evening,” he said.
Dr. Dominic Rocco at Cardiovascular Department
Heart patients at Brampton Civic Hospital can only get blockages identified in a procedure called Angiogram. To remove these blockages from arteries, a procedure called Angioplasty has to be done at Trillium Hospital in Mississauga.
Dr. Dominic Rocco, Corporate Chief of Cardiology & Medical Doctor says that not having the equipment to perform angioplasty at Brampton Civic hospital results in 2 -3 extra days’ patient stay at the hospital taking up much need stretchers, psycho-social issues where the patient has to go to another hospital, medical issue of poking into arteries, and of course the costs it incurs.
Most patients go to Trillium hospital to get the angioplasty done where Dr. Rocco gets paid twice for the same work. There are about 2,000 angiograms done at Brampton Civic hospital each year. These patients have to wait to get the angioplasty done costing about half a million in taking up the beds alone, when the equipment for angioplasty costs about $2 million meaning “savings for the government,” Dr. Rocco says.
Why doesn’t Brampton Civic Hospital get the necessary equipment?
What’s holding back “is the government really,” Dr. Rocco says. Dr. Rocco also told the media that the Hospital has the Central West LHIN’s support on the issue. The Comprehensive proposal of having an angioplasty machine was submitted to the Ministry of Health in January of 2010. In over 16 months “we haven’t got any official feedback,” Dr. Roccos says.
In her recent visit to Brampton Civic Hospital, Minister Deb Matthews was asked about the issue, however she expressed her ignorance to the matter.
A combination of genetics and life style is making South Asian youth in 30s and 40s prone to heart diseases. The Charm Clinic at the Hospital is preventive in nature where the bigger issue with the South Asian community is not smoking but diabetes and cultural factors that immigrated with South Asian immigrants to Canada.
As we entered the neonatal services room, we were told to wash our hands because infants are susceptible to catching disease easier than the adults. Here we were told that the new parents would be wise to take birthing classes especially if there are chances of pre-mature birth.
The doctors here haven’t really seen South Asian parents to be angry on the birth of a daughter. If it gets to the point where parents have hard time coping, social workers help and so do the people who provide spiritual care.
Patient Relations & Diversity Services
Brampton Civic Hospital provides training to its staff to provide culturally sensitive healthcare to its patients. It’s Multifaith Room has Holy Scriptures from various faiths, musical instruments that people may need. “This Hospital seems to pay more attention to spiritual care than any other hospital I have worked at,” said Dr. Rocco who has worked with hospitals that have been run by Catholics at the United States.
While we were in the Department of Diversity Services, Ms. Gurwinder Gill’s colleague commented that “if it was up to her, she’ll keep us here the whole day.” The same comment was heard again when Dr. Rocco was showing us around his department. Their love for what they do was quite evident and admirable.
There is a gym at the Hospital too. It’s equipped with various machines that you’ll find in your average gym.
People’s fitness improves after they have had a heart attack, said Dr. Dominic Raco.
Most people have a better “fitness level” after they have had the heart attack than before. “Before they didn’t exercise or they didn’t eat right,” he said.
Dr. Rocco advises brisk 30-minute walk 3-4 times a week to keep yourself healthy.
During the tour, Ramneet emphasized on taking stairs over elevators to keep the South Asian media fit.
My first introduction to Brampton Civic Hospital was through a friend who had to take her mother every week to the Hospital for dialysis. His mother was in a list for kidney transplant, but there was a very very long wait. They tried getting a transplant from India, then.
Ms. Ferrari who is also the Chair of Organ Donation Committee says that most patients when asked about organ donation will say yes. An individual who has cultural knowledge and sensitivity will be sent to ask the patient about organ donation.
Dr. Rocco says that the problem is not the resources but the fact that there aren’t enough donors. There are lesser and lesser deaths among young people which makes organ procurement harder.
The leader of Progressive Conservatives of Ontario Tim Hudak has said that he will scrap Local Health Integration Networks (LHINs) if the PC forms a government.
Mr. Matt Anderson, the CEO and President of William Osler Health Foundation responds by saying “My greatest concern will be the issue of regionalized care..that’s what’s most important for us..if it goes back to centralized model [that’s run] out of Ministry of Health..then we would be in the same lineup as..Ottawa and Windsor. We very much prefer regional model care..which virtually every other part of the world has.”
Jobs at Cardiovascular Department
Ontario has shortage of doctors and nurses, yet internationally medical graduates (IMGs) drive cabs. William Osler is looking to hire two physicians at its Cardiovascular department. What Dr. Rocco would be looking for in candidates is whether they are well qualified and can fit with other physicians. He noted that the Canadian medical colleges are fairly homogenous whereas the heterogeneity of IMGs makes it hard for hospitals to hire them.
What’s interesting is that while McGuinty government is working hard to attract international students, Ontario’s medical students are travelling abroad to countries like Ireland to become doctors. With them is going about $100,000 a year that these Ontarians spend on medical education in Ireland.
By Asma Amanat