A tip of the hat to our health-care system

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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.


Organizations: Campbell Medical Group, Carbonear Hospital, Health Sciences Centre

Geographic location: Newfoundland and Labrador, St. John's

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Recent comments

  • Ron Tizzard
    September 02, 2013 - 07:39

    We do not live in a cookie-cutter world, people. The medical system in this province, including private practitioners are next to none...generally speaking. I say generally speaking because the system is operated by human beings, for human beings....as much as we all try for best outcomes...DO, DO will happen sometimes, more often for some than others; at the end of the day, we have all felt degrees of the pain of a medical service not being there at our beck and call. In an Emergency setting...our medical services and those who provide the services are next to none. In a NON-Emergency setting ...our medical services and those who provide the services are next to none. Nay-Sayers, stop your moaning, thank God for the wonderful medical services we have...I say thank you to each and every member of our Health Care services from our general practitioners to our...911 staff ....emergency staff....and ward nursing staff, Lab staff, housekeping and kitchen staff...on, and on, and on...! Thank you.

  • Jaques
    August 29, 2013 - 15:18

    I know a young lady that doesn't know what it's like to be on a wait list for a specialist, a test or a procedure. Why? Her father is a doctor. Nuff said. (I guess those who 'have'.. DO!)

  • david
    August 29, 2013 - 14:28

    When you have no other experience in life, what you do have often seems fine. Apparently back in the day, one could find a few slaves in Mississippi who actually thought they had it pretty good.

  • Aub
    August 29, 2013 - 13:06

    I've been waiting almost a year for minor surgery(at least the Health care system considers it minor). I have no problem with the care received when one gets there. It's getting there is the problem. Nothing has changed since the arrival of Miss Kaminsky.

  • saelcove
    August 29, 2013 - 10:49

    I had to wait 6 months for an mri do you know some one