I would like to offer my perspective on the medical system in Newfoundland and Labrador.
In the way of a background, I am 63 years old, am a Newfoundlander and have had much exposure to our medical system. As with many people, I have head my share of heartache and pain in my life, but not as much as many I am sure.
I have lost my mother and father, as well as a brother, not to mention number of relatives and friends. But never once in all my years have I experienced this medical system as sometimes described - in a negative fashion - in your editorials. I am sure there are the vocal minority who have had bad experiences, and my heart goes out to them. Unfortunately, mistakes, negligence and disinterest is a problem with any system stressed to its limits. But I suggest that these cases are in the minority, notwithstanding recent problems with the system.
I am sure that, if the satisfied majority were to write about their positive experience with our medical system, your paper would be stressed well beyond its limits.
I respect the opinions and experiences of others. At the same time, I - as a member of the not-so-vocal majority - would not want any generalizations relative to this system to reflect on those with whom I have had personal experience. I am happy to say that I have found all of those people to be undeniably professional, knowledgeable and caring. The care I have received from them has been superb, no matter the final results. The list is long but I will name but a few, such as Dr. Peter Robbins of the Campbell Medical Group, Dr. Peggy Tuttle at the Carbonear Hospital (as well as her nurse, Kandi), Dr. David Pace and Dr. A. Felix at St. Clare's, Dr. Brett Williams of the eye clinic at the Health Sciences Centre, and many more who are too numerous to mention in this article.
I have put my trust in these fine professionals to care for my health/life and that of my loved ones. And I have never been disappointed, just amazed. I also know the day may come when, despite their best efforts, there is nothing they can do for me. Let's hope this is a long way away. Certainly, based upon their treatment, I sometimes feel like I could live forever.
By way of example, my sister was diagnosed with colon cancer on Oct. 29, 2012. Between that date and Jan. 7, 2013, she had five meetings with specialists, had an MRI, colonoscopy, endoscopy and an operation which resulted in her being declared cancer-free. Keep in mind that during this period the operating rooms in the hospitals were closed for two weeks. I know she was lucky, but irrespective of the outcome, her treatment was first-class by any standards, in my opinion.
Finally, let me say that I remain very pleased with our medical system and ofttimes amazed by those who make it work so well for me and mine, from the doctors to the receptionist to the nurses, etc. They deserve a heartfelt thanks and God bless you all.
Leo Walsh writes from St. John's.