Thursday, August 25, 2011


I was all prepared to do another big long whiny rant about health-care waiting times and how the different factions within our health care system work against each other and not with each other in the effort to provide healthcare to the province’s residents, who are mainly responsible for the funding of this system, and how a phone call from our local doctor’s office did more for me than my letters, emails and phone calls to I don’t know how many people and how if there is a twenty-week waiting period after a failed surgery to get an MRI perhaps this would indicate that there is a shortage of MRI machines in the province and if the administration and bureaucracy of the province’s Health Regions weren’t sucking up all of the infrastructure dollars maybe we could afford to purchase another MRI machine or two and if Saskatchewan is truly the place to be with so much happening and we’re so well off maybe additional money should be allocated to more doctors and nurses and technicians and hospitals RIGHT NOW…but that’s such a downer, eh? There’s enough bad news out there so you really shouldn’t have to be subjected to more of it.
On the positive side, though, I did get an MRI appointment twelve-and-a-half weeks after the requisition was sent in instead of the twenty weeks that I was told I’d have to wait. Thanks to all of the Kipling Medical Clinic Staff, and Barb in particular, for helping me with that.
In the great scheme of things, though, my aches and pains and frustration with the system are nothing compared to what many others are going through right now. An old roommate of mine, and one of my best friends over the past thirty-five-plus-years, is fighting that evil robber of human lives, Cancer, and has thirty-three rounds of nasty treatments to look forward to in the upcoming months. My problems pale in comparison to his.
Another buddy of mine just lost some toes to his healthcare battle so I think I’m going to take some time to put things into perspective here. I am not excusing the medical system for my treatment, or lack thereof, as it were, but I will acknowledge that there are many other people that are in far worse condition than I am.
And then there’s Jack Layton. One more victim of that evil faceless robber. What can you say about Jack? I had the good fortune of hearing him speak at a Saskatchewan Urban Municipalities Association convention while he was the President of the Canadian Federation of Municipalities. He was inspirational then and he was an inspiration right up until he succumbed to Cancer.
While one columnist for the National Post, Christie Blatchford, called the outpouring of grief for Jack Layton “over the top”; another columnist, John Moore, offered this response explaining why he thought that the coverage of Jack Layton’s death was appropriate, “People liked Jack as a man and his sunny celebration of our country was infectious. The Prime Minister has recognized this unique bond by making the unprecedented offer of a state funeral. There’s a reason why Canadians mourn this week. It’s the appreciation of personal qualities and uncompromised political vision that they wish all politicians drew on.”
Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, and everyone should read both articles to judge their merits, but I’ll agree with John Moore. There seems to be fewer and fewer politicians with Jack’s integrity, energy, work ethic and optimism. We need more Jack Laytons in the world and while we mourn the loss of a great political leader we must all pay heed to his last words of inspiration.
“My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world.”-Jack Layton (1950-2011).

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