By Robert Frank
“Some patients, as is to be expected, are very concerned and even anxious, as they do not know yet where they will have their dialysis treatments,” Evelyn Seligman told The Suburban in an electronic mail message.
“No information has been given to us as to how the divestment of patients will be carried out,” said Seligman, who represents patients McGill University Hospital Centre (MUHC) Central Users Committee (CUC) and its Dialysis Outpatients Committee. “No one on either of these committees has received any details about the divestment of the general patient body of the MUHC.”
As The Suburban reported three weeks ago, the province has pressed hospitals to divest their dialysis operations, April 1.
Uncertainty: Worse than bad news
“Very few details have been finalized in the context of the dialysis situation,” Seligman said. “The situation involving MUHC dialysis patients is in flux. They do not know yet where they will receive treatments. There are no answers yet from the administrations, the [regional health authority] or the Health Ministry.”
The MUHC patient representatives have taken a dim view how officials have handled the impending transfer.
“Dialysis is a life-sustaining treatment,” she reminded. “MUHC officials have assured us that dialysis patients will continue to have the same excellent care that they have now.”
“Our members are extremely displeased that no reply has been given,” she concluded.
“Patients to follow the money?”
“It’s very, very unsettling for patients, for sure,” agreed CUC spokesman Mario di Carlo. “They haven’t really been consulted as to whether this will work and whether it is better for them.”
“Will it be the best care, or just care?” he asked. “Is the money following the patient, or is the patient following the money?
“Patient-centred care entails ensuring that whatever is done to serve or care for patients serves their desires and needs—rather than what the institution needs,” he told The Suburban in an interview. “Regionalization won’t accomplish that, on the basis of the information that I have.”
“We know that hospitals are funded by the number of patients that they serve,” di Carlo said. “Where will [patients] be sent to get the best treatment?”
“Will every health care professional take the same approach to patients, or will some be pushed and not have a choice? We don’t know. It’s very difficult to find out what the framework will be,” he concluded.
ga(‘create’, ‘UA-45892555-1’, ‘robertfrankmedia.blogspot.com’);