In defence of the ER

I have had nothing but the best treatment in the ER at Penticton Regional Hospital

I was appalled to hear Mr. Siemens’ attack regarding the waiting time in the ER.

According to Mr. Siemens, his wife was ‘looked after’ immediately while he parked his car. This means that the hospital established why she had come to the ER and asked for the name of her family physician. Family physicians are notified of ER visits made by their patients. She had also been sent to X-ray. The next step in the process was to see the doctor. Apparently his wife decided it was taking too long and said ‘Let’s go home.’

Although his wife was ‘complaining about a lot of pain’, when her husband suggested going to the ER, the priorities seemed to shift from ‘a lot of pain’ to being kept waiting. The waiting seemed to override the pain and, in fact, the waiting became the paramount issue, so much so that they left the ER without waiting to be seen by a doctor.

I know something about the ER in the Penticton Regional Hospital because I have been there about 10 times this year with a recurring condition. They are a very professional and caring group who do their very best for the patients. Yes, there were times when I also had to wait to see the doctor. This is understandable since there are considerably more patients than doctors. I was happy to wait because I was in a safe medical environment.

I view Mr Siemens’ complaint as self-focused with no understanding of how an ER operates. The hospital quickly establishes the seriousness of the condition that brings patients to the ER. Those with life-threatening conditions are priorities. It does not operate on ‘a first come first serve basis’.

I have had nothing but the best treatment in the ER at Penticton Regional Hospital, as did Mr Siemens’ wife. The difference was that my condition required a doctor’s input and I was happy to wait till one was available. Mr. Siemens’ wife, on the other hand, did not feel it was important enough to wait for the doctor’s diagnosis and left. Perhaps she should have simply made an appointment with her family physician instead of going to the ER.

Thank you Penticton Regional Hospital ER — you are a fine group of caregivers and I wanted to defend you.

Vi Brown