The Boomer generation, of which I’m a ‘front end’ member, is frequently blamed for the tremendous pressure that is being put on Canada’s health care system. I guess I must now stand up with the help of a walker and be counted as part of the problem.
Earlier this month I had surgery at Winnipeg’s Grace Hospital to replace my left knee. Recovery and rehab is going quite well, and my plan is to have the right knee replaced a few months down the road.
It is by far my most significant ‘encounter’ with health care in more than 60 years. It’s my first surgery since a hernia at age three. In a matter of months I will hopefully have greatly improved mobility, thanks to a procedure which was purely science fiction when they did my hernia.
These days, all provinces do knee and hip replacements by the thousands each year, and we the patient pay almost nothing. I will have more to say in the weeks to come, but since this is heard and read mostly in Manitoba and Saskatchewan, I must tell you that the blue team appears to be winning over the green team.
I moved from Regina to Winnipeg last May, and very quickly I was on the waiting list for knee surgery in both provinces. Manitoba got me on the operating table in nine months. They also got me into a convenient physiotherapy program less than a week after leaving hospital. It has been months since I heard anything from Saskatchewan, but I know of friends in Regina whose knee surgeries have been postponed more than once because the hospitals there are running at more than 100% capacity.
Manitoba has its share of horror stories, including patients who are sent home too early with inadequate post-op care in place. But they’re doing a lot of things right, and I’m glad I’m here.
I’m Roger Currie
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