IS SASKATCHEWAN HEALTHCARE BIAS AGAINST THE POOR?
I recently got a call to come into my doctors office. I was told that my PSA level (Prostate Specific Antigen) was very high. This can mean you have cancer. It most of the time is caused by something else however and you find out from tests give by a urologist.
I was referred to the urologist and it was marked urgent. I'm still waiting to hear from them for an appointment. I am worried about this for obvious reasons. It's something that needs to be addressed as soon as possible in the case that is is cancer so that you can be treated in time to save your life.
It's been a year since I had my last PSA test so GOD knows how long it's been high. This needs to be looked at soon as in now like. However if experience has told me one thing, people who are on assistance get sent to the back of the line when it comes to medical things in Saskatchewan. They will tell you otherwise, but others in my position have gotten the call the same week - not me.
This is not the first time at all for this to happen. I'm still waiting a month later to get a call for an ultrasound even thought it's simply pointless. That is to say I'm 100% curtain that my hernia repair has failed. It's very obvious by the ER doctor sent a request for an ultrasound and I never heard from them.
Now lets talk about sitting in a waiting room in the ER. I do realize that people need to go in before me and that includes people who are there after me. However there have been many times where someone has come in and gone in directly while I sit in a chair moaning and rocking back and forth in terrible pain. The person is then back out in short order - obviously seen right away and treated immediately - as the rest of us sit there. Yes I could be missing information but the amount of times it's happened is astonishing.
Now lets talk pain management. I've had many things done over the years at the dentist. A person I know with a good paying job goes to the same place I do. We both had a filling done in the same week in the same office.
I was in and out and home with no pain meds at all. I can however handle more pain that most people as I've been in pain for 2 decades. But he on the other hand was given several days of not only pain meds, but strong ones.
This is a recurring theme with people I know that make good money - they get pain meds and people on the system are ignored and left to be in pain.
If it was just me I would not be writing this. However others I know on the system have been treated the same way. Go into the ER in terrible pain - tell them it's level 8 or 9 and you can't stand it - get ignored and given over the counter drugs and nothing for when your at home.
The people I know making money have a high chance of being given industrial pain meds on the spot and a prescription to fill for the next few days.
The best example of this is a minor injury sustained by a guy making $22/hour and he was medicated and given a weeks worth of pills. I toasted off both my knees and was unable to walk without a cane for 5 months (told it was going to be 8 but it wasn't). I had 3 tendons damaged in one knee and 2 in the other. Do you think I was given pain meds? NOPE. Nothing at all.
Now as I said if it was just me, I can pass it off. I will grant them this - I don't present to be in as much pain as I say because I'm used to dealing with a lot of pain in my life. On a good day it's a 3 or a 4 - this is my baseline and it never gets better than that. I show no sign of it at all.
When I am in a LOT more pain a 6 or a 7 I still can carry on a conversation and walk around even though I look like I'm waddling when I'm in a lot of pain and it takes me longer. I have almost hit the floor from pain and still talked to people at the table and only 1 person noticed at all.
So yeah, if it was just me it would be easy to pass off and I would understand. However it's a great deal of people on assistance that do not get pain medication given to them or they are greatly underdosed.
The strange thing is, this only seems to happen here in Moose Jaw for pain meds. If I'm in Regina when I need to go in, meds are given on the spot. BUT the entirety of Saskatchewan seems to let people on assistance wait longer to get needed tests and to see specialists.
One of my closest friends is in a family with money. She gets in to see a specialist rather quickly. People I know who are working and well paid, the same thing - in quick. People I know on assistance or who are low paid, seem to have to wait a long time.
So yes I can't help but think there is a bias against people who are poor in my province when it comes to health care. I would have to be blind to not see it. Then again I will grant that being I'm poor, I'm not looking at this from the outside. I would very much like to see someone look at it from the outside to see if what many of us thing is really happening is happening.
You all have a great day and keep smiling.