Should we be punishing medical errors?

In Editorial, Opinion by Edmund Kwok2 Comments

An interesting story came across my desk recently. Apparently, some states in the U.S. have moved towards a punitive model in trying deal with medical errors and adverse outcomes – this particular story describes how Utah will no longer fund healthcare providers and hospitals for dealing with illnesses that resulted from avoidable errors and infections. On the surface, it kind of makes sense – one should be punished for making a mistake, right? …

The 13 pieces of a fragmented healthcare system.

In Editorial, Opinion by Edmund KwokLeave a Comment

As Canadians we pride ourselves on having one of the best national healthcare system in the world. That is however not technically correct – instead, we have a jigsaw system that’s cut up into very distinct and different pieces. The Canada Health Act supposedly ensures that all citizens have equal access to quality healthcare, regardless of where you live. Working in a tertiary care center situated right on the border between two of …

July is almost over. You’re safe to come to the hospital now.

In Editorial, Opinion by Edmund KwokLeave a Comment

The deadly month is almost over. Have you not heard the secret? This warning to the average patient is becoming more and more widespread: “Don’t get sick in July! It is the worst month of the year to be in a hospital.” This supposed pearl of wisdom of course refers to the fact that in Canada, the academic year at teaching hospitals begins on Canada Day – which means freshly minted MD’s are …

The disillusionment of “healthy” patients.

In Editorial, Opinion by Edmund Kwok1 Comment

Guest post by Linda B. After spending years in both the Emergency Room and the Intensive Care Unit, I have come to realize that we do a grave disservice to the Canadian Public…people think they are healthy. People think that if they wake up in the morning, swallow a handful of pills and go about their daily lives, they are healthy. Despite the fact that our lives are generally sedentary, we eat too …

Coming to a hospital near you: physician-assisted suicide.

In Featured, Opinion by Edmund Kwok2 Comments

Scenario 1: A 64 year old patient is suffering from advanced Lou Gehrig’s disease – she cannot perform her own activities of daily living, and can do nothing but watch her own body deteriorate until the slow release of death. She wishes to have the opportunity to control how she passes, with the aid of her healthcare providers. Sound reasonable? Scenario 2: A 64 year old patient is suffering from severe depression – …

Our turn to Choose Wisely.

In Featured by Edmund KwokLeave a Comment

Healthcare spending has been a hot topic recently. While the focus in Ontario (and subsequently spreading to other provinces as well) these days has been on curbing physician fees, let us not forget another big piece of the puzzle: over-spending on unnecessary investigations and treatments. In the U.S. alone, up to one-third of the $2 trillion of annual healthcare costs goes towards unnecessary hospitalizations and tests, unproven treatments, ineffective drugs and futile end-of-life-care. …