Wakefield, Quebec hospital does not do more harm than good


by admin on September 30, 2009

The Editor,

The provision of emergency medical services in rural areas is a huge challenge.  Medical professionals including paramedics, triage nurses and physicians must make decisions regarding diagnosis and treatment with limited tools at their disposal. In Wakefield, Quebec the process is further complicated by being located within a region known to be under-resourced with respect to health care services and by inter provincial issues which may limit access to resources in Ottawa.

If clients are dissatisfied with the emergency services provided, it is important to consider two things before placing blame. Wakefield,Quebec is a rural area. It is unreasonable to expect to have the same access to state-of-the-art medical technologies, available in urban centers. This is just one of the factors to be considered when choosing to live in a rural area. If the risks associated with that choice are too great, perhaps living in the city is a better option.

It is, however, important to remember that emergency room wait times at tertiary care centers are typically much longer than at Wakefield Hospital so there is no guarantee that a case of appendicitis will be diagnosed any faster. Second, it is not the front line medical professionals who make decision regarding resources. It is politicians.

To suggest that Wakefield Hospital and its associated medical professionals, may cause “more harm than good” is misplaced blame and irresponsible journalism.

Jane Earle

Editor’s note: this letter makes reference to another letter in last week’s edition, “Wakefield Hospital: more harm than good?” by Mike Caldwell, and not a news article by Low Down journalists.