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Publisher’s Comment: A Question of Good Faith …

Up until last Thursday, I had complete faith in our health system. A number of years ago, I had a serious problem that without the care of some very talented doctors would have certainly resulted in a one-way ticket to the pearly gates. I survived...


Up until last Thursday, I had complete faith in our health system. A number of years ago, I had a serious problem that without the care of some very talented doctors would have certainly resulted in a one-way ticket to the pearly gates. I survived, and as a result, I became something of an ambassador for the Canadian health care system. Oh sure, I’ve heard tell of some horror stories, but my opinion was based on my experience, not someone else’s.

Well, that’s all changed now.

About five months ago, I was having a routine eye examination when my doctor discovered that my cornea was changing. This actually didn’t surprise me since my arms were no longer long enough to allow me to read, and I knew one of the medications that kept me away from the pearly gates has been known to cause this sort of damage. The doctor wanted to confirm if it indeed was a side effect or the natural aging process (ouch). Unfortunately, he couldn’t make the diagnosis on his own. It required a specialist and the help of a high-tech machine located at St. Mike’s Hospital in Toronto. So an appointment was made.

On Dec. 2, I arrived precisely at 10:45 a.m. and was told the waiting time averaged three hours. No problem – I was going to hunker down with a new book and bide my time. Yes, it was difficult to read but it was printed in very large type (along the lines of “See Spot Run”) so I was set.

At 12:30 p.m. a nurse administered some irritating eye drops. At that time she indicated the wait would still be a few hours and as the drops took effect, it became quickly evident there’d be no more reading. I put the book down and closed my eyes. At 2 p.m., I was ushered into another room where a doctor ran a test and informed me the specialist wouldn’t be much longer. At 3:45 p.m., another patient told me that the doctor had to leave, but he’d be back at 5 p.m. At 3:46 p.m., I was walking blurry-eyed and red-faced towards the subway.

Maybe there was an emergency. Maybe his kid fell down the stairs. Maybe it was dinnertime. No explanation was given, just that he’d be back.

I can’t say that walking out has helped my eyesight. In retrospect, it was pretty stupid. I just wish the Doc or his staff or the system had a little more respect for my time.

– Rob Wilkins is the publisher of Truck News and he can be reached at 416-442-2097.


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