How are we supposed to feel safe when our healthcare system is on life support?

We’re living in scary and dangerous times.

We’ve been bombarded with news about our broken healthcare system for far too long.

Topics range from level zero paramedic service, long wait times in the ER, temporary closures of ERs and ICU in smaller hospitals, and severe nursing shortages, just to name a few.

These are indeed dangerous times, especially for PWD, seniors, and those with weakened immune systems. The fact that we can’t assume that an ambulance will arrive when we need them is a sure sign of a broken healthcare system.

Sadly, nobody seems to be doing anything about it.

Instead of reassuring Ontario residents, Premier Doug Ford has primarily been in hiding. When he finally decided to speak to reporters, Ford said we’re getting the healthcare we need.

By that “logic,” he doesn’t watch the news, goes online, or listen to the people of Ontario.

As much as I try to limit being on social media and watching the news, people everywhere talk about our failing healthcare system.

We are angry, frustrated, feel ignored, and terrified. The people of Ontario have no idea what will happen if they need to dial 9-1-1. Here are several questions that I ask myself, and I’m sure that I’m not alone.

  • Will an ambulance show up?
  • IF they show up, will I be left in the hallway for hours or days?
  • Will the nurses or doctors be so overtired and stressed and make a mistake?
  • If I stop breathing, will anyone notice, and will there be enough staff to save my life?

Those questions aren’t even related to my specific disability. For those with disabilities, and specialized medical conditions, their very legitimate questions and concerns would be much longer.

Also, consider those with mental health challenges, such as anxiety. I happen to have anxiety. Even the risk of needing to go to the hospital makes me anxious. With our healthcare system in shambles, my anxiety has increased.

We deserve better, Doug Ford. We deserve a healthcare system that looks after us, including all healthcare workers. You can talk about your promises and the number of new nurses, but words mean very little.

Words mean nothing to tired healthcare workers, patients left in corridors, ER waiting rooms, and those left to die alone.

This is our Ontario.

We had a chance to make a difference during the election. Instead, a vast majority of voters decided not to vote. As a result, we’re stuck with Doug Ford.

A man with a long history of ignoring Seniors, PWD, and those without large pockets of money.

It’s rare, but I often find myself at a loss for words, which isn’t good if you’re a writer.

Just sayin’.

More seriously, though, our broken healthcare system scares me.

As many of you know, I’m ventilator-dependent.  For the most part, I’m very healthy. As I’ve previously mentioned, if even one of my caregivers can’t come in for their shift, there’s a very real possibility that I’d need to go to the hospital.

Am I supposed to believe that a nurse in the hospital would be able to watch me, help me when needed, or know about my ventilator?

I can speak from experience that the answer’s no.

The shortage of healthcare workers also affects PWD and Seniors that rely on caregivers. Like myself, if their caregiver doesn’t show up, they may need to go to the hospital. Allowing that to happen only adds to the problems.

We can’t keep doing this, at least I can’t. How are we supposed to feel safe when our healthcare system and system continue to fail us?

Correction: It’s not just the system that’s failing us. It’s the person that some voted for that’s failing us.