Advocacy Is Almost As Important As Having A Doctor.

March 21, 2011; By: Audrey Miller
All About Estates

The media has been full of stories about people in Canada in conflict with their provinces’ health bureaucracies. For a long time we have heard about challenges in the health system to serve people quickly enough: billions invested in reducing waiting lists; efforts to improve emergency room services; governments trying to control pharmaceutical costs by battling with the local pharmacies.

Now we see the impact of the cost of pharmaceutical care. A woman with a cancerous tumour being treated with “almost” all the best care asks why she cannot get a proven treatment because her tumour is not big enough, yet. The province is being reasonable. It has to set criteria when costly treatments “need” to be utilized. The individual and the system. Notice that the province has to respond. As our society ages and needs and wants more care and services, well … expect more advocacy.

You already may have understood this yourself. When in the hospital, a family member’s care may depend on advocacy and attention. Anecdotally, those who are in the hospital and have family member’s asking questions about their care, seem to do better. Just last week I received a call from a distraught older women who was preparing for a hospital team meeting and wanted to hire us, so that she could make sure her voice and her husband’s voice would be heard. Within long term care facilities, family councils is a route worth investigation. Education and advocacy go hand in hand and on this note, I applaud the recent announcement of CARP and Yee Hong Centre for Geriatric Care in Markham, Ontario, who have partnered to offer two new patient care programs , for caregivers and their families in English on Chronic Pain Management Program and Parkinson Disease Management.

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