Letters to the Editor

Patients should appreciate their doctors

Dear Sir:

I had the opportunity to talk to a doctor friend of mine regarding what the wait times were for the area in certain surgeries and procedures and what it meant to our medical practices at large.

He had stated to me that there were people that had called him and expressed anger for the wait times to get in to see most specialists, and there was nothing he could do personally that would alleviate any of the wait times for the various procedures.

When I had heard this, it made me not only angry but incensed as well, that first, people should even question the wait times and second would be, just how would an M.D. be in any way capable of changing how and who is seen by any given specialists.

We in this area have a wide selection of extremely good practitioners, that don't need the verbal abuse of some of the patients. We are not living in an area that specialists are flocking to and the specialists we do have in our midst are worked ragged trying to keep up with the demands put on them by the large geographic/demographic population of the Northern Health district. We seem to forget that the doctor you may be seeing in the morning is maybe the same doctor that has just spent the night before in the emergency room dealing with issues that are holding life in the balance. We as individuals take for granted as to what we really have in medical services and feel that we are owed this because of where we live.

I think it is high time that all of us should take the time to thank the health care professional that went the extra distance for yours and my benefit, on a daily basis.

I am extremely proud of the doctors, nurses and support staff of the Terrace area as they have been there when my family or I have needed their services; their people are caring and understanding and are deserving of praise and gratitude that is very seldom show by the people they see as patients. When someone has the audacity to tell their doctor he or she isn't doing everything they can to get them in to a specialist, it makes those fine hairs on the back of my neck stand up. I would really hate to see this area lose doctors because of the patient ignorance and stupidity. I don't believe this to be the case with everyone and I won't paint the populace with the same proverbial brush but I will not mince my words either, for those that are critical as to wait time to see a specialist, get a grip, you're not the only person that may need the above said services and the specialist. Usually those that can safely make the proper judgement call. And if your medical doctor doesn't get back to you right away about those tests you may have been waiting for, then it's probably either your doctor hasn't received them back or he has been extremely busy dealing with other things that require his or her immediate attention. This applies to the nurses and support services as well, all those working in our hospitals and clinics and those that travel great distances just so we can have specialists when we do need them....

So the long and short of this is treat your health care providers with respect and dignity, they deserve it, or you just may lose their services to a community that will treat them with respect and dignity.


James R. Gray

Terrace, B.C.

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