May 24, 2023
Our local clinic is simply amazing and they ensure that we’re not left behind when we don’t have a family doctor.
This weekend I was lucky enough to be home on a Saturday so I decided to drop by Emilios Mercato Italiano for a coffee and some fresh baking. While in the lineup I met a wonderful healthcare worker and we discussed how lucky we are to have some top notch doctors in our community and a couple of thriving medical clinics.
During our chat they mentioned a ‘brick’ that was in the paper about Crowsnest Medical Clinic a few months ago and how it hurt the doctors who work hard in the clinic. It got me thinking for a bit about a few things. First, I explained that the ‘brick’ was not libel and it was the feeling of an individual in the community. Second, I explained that I had to print it because that’s the job of the paper. I know it’s not easy to be criticized, trust me I probably know better then most being on council and owning a newspaper, but unless the ‘brick’ is libel I am obligated to print it.
Since the printing of that ‘brick’ the medical clinic has responded with a letter to the editor, which we have tagged to our website, as well as a bi-monthly column. I’m not sure what they’ll talk about however I’m excited to read it when it’s ready for publication.
When my parents and Buddy were sick and dying, I experienced our provincial medical system firsthand. My mom became sick and we couldn’t diagnose what was wrong with her. In my opinion she didn’t have a very decent doctor at the beginning of her journey. Thankfully I was able to get her in with Dr. Maritz who took very good care of her until the end. I advocated for my mom from homecare, through assisted living, and finally to long term care. I watched amazing nurses and health care aids and some dismal ones. I watched how she was treated at end of life, and all I can really say is that she was lucky I was there to advocate for her. It was a tough time where I was able to see the best and the worst of our medical system.
Things have changed since by mom’s death. COVID and political decisions have stressed our medical system and I believe it’s hanging on by a thread. This brings me back full circle to my journey. I was diagnosed with cancer, had a surgery, and was cancer free in seven weeks. Our medical system works incredibly well when treating acute illnesses. Post-illness, not so much. I have experienced several complications from my surgery. After my local family doctor left, I have had to use my Calgary-based cancer surgeon to help me navigate the post surgical issues. I need to go to the Chronic Pain Clinic to help manage my complications, and my first appointment with them is one year less one day from the surgery. In short, I have had to hobble along trying to cope with an issue that I have had little help with fixing.
There are just not enough family doctors for all the people in the Pass. Our local clinic is simply amazing and they ensure that we’re not left behind when we don’t have a family doctor. They find someone to help you. They are working long hours so that we have a modicum of peace by ensuring we are safe. I’m not sure you would get this type of treatment in the city, but you sure do here in the Pass.
I believe that people lash out and write ‘bricks’ when they are scared. I’m sorry that it hurt the feeling of some practitioners yet that ‘brick’ did lead to the clinic explaining how difficult things are and then deciding to write an update column here in the paper. It’s all about communication and if that ‘brick’ started the conversation then I am happy. People feel safe when they have some sort of communication. Even communicating that you have nothing new to talk about is still communication, letting people know you are there and they are not alone.
So I’ll end this with the fact that I’ve been in the system. I’ve seen the good, the bad, and the ugly but I still believe we have some of the best doctors and nurses around in this community. So thank you to all the medical staff in the Crowsnest Pass, you are top notch!