Falling through the cracks in health care

Has the system become so backlogged that there is no room for truly sick or injured persons?

I am a male 91 years of age and I am appalled with the health care system in British Columbia. Front and centre, the Penticton Regional Hospital.

Here is my story:

On the morning of Sept. 23, at approximately 10:40 a.m. I was out for a trip on my motorized handicap scooter. I was crossing in a crosswalk on a residential street when I was hit by a motor vehicle operated by a 93-year-old female.

Apparently, I rolled 360 degrees with the scooter on impact and was then thrown from the scooter into the street where I was knocked unconscious.

An ambulance was called and my clothes were cut from my body to assess the injuries.

I was transported to the Penticton Regional Hospital to the emergency department. There I was looked at by two doctors, left on a cot in the hallway and then told that I was released. I was discharged without an X-ray of any kind to ascertain any prominent injury. I asked the doctor how I was supposed to get home. I was told I could go by taxi or ambulance. I told the doctor that I was unable to use my legs and I was told that because I was not his patient, there was nothing they could do for me. I called my physician who sent a colleague to check me out. It was arranged for me to be admitted to the hospital.

Finally on Sept. 25, I was taken for an X-ray on my left ankle and found that it was cracked. They put a cast on my ankle. I had to tell them that I had such pain in my right pelvic area and they then sent me for another X-ray. Here they found that my right hip joint was fractured and that I needed a total hip joint replacement.

There is a serious problem with our system when a man of my age is being sent home after such an incident without so much as an X-ray. Has it come to the point that we have to diagnose ourselves and tell what X-rays we need in order to obtain the proper care that should be automatically extended to anyone who is admitted to a care facility? Has the system become so backlogged that there is no room for truly sick or injured persons? Is it simply that the system has no time for the aging population because they are taking up too much room?

Frank Helmut Pfrang