We are sharing this information for two main purposes.
First, it is to provide you with knowledge based on our personal experiences with the Health Care System in Alberta. Knowledge that could mean the difference between life and death for you or someone you know and care about when you have to rely on the health care system in Alberta. We firmly believe that if we would have had this information in advance, Greg, our son, brother, friend, would be with us today.
Second, it is to provide you with the knowledge which will help put you in a position to support the critical change so overdue and necessary to the patient care system in Alberta. Currently, as you will learn reading what we are recording on this site, there really is no system for patient care at all. Well-meaning and knowledgeable people inside the health care world have tried for many years to make the needed changes without meaningful success to date. On December 19th, 2013 the Health Quality Council of Alberta released a report which includes strong and clear recommendations for change. The best way to insure that these changes occur is to have the public properly informed of the terrible and unnecessary losses happening inside the existing so-called health care system so that we all can advocate for the recommended changes, the sooner the better. Lives depend on it.
You may wonder why you have not heard publicly about these kinds of incidents and tragedies before now. We believe there are a few key reasons. For the families involved, it is very, very tough, basically impossible, to make the decision to talk publicly about their loss. Investigations take a long time and often, even if there is the desire to get the word out, the media is likely to feel it is too old for news or coverage. It is also the case that almost all investigations are done within the “system” and are not made public for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is the protection of the medical professionals involved.
We hope that through the Health Arrows site, that an active, informed and hopefully growing group of the public can really become strongly engaged and make some huge changes to the way care is willingly provided to patients here. The current situation serves no one well.
The “system” should be continuous, collaborative, patient centered. None of these characteristics exist or are system wide today. Individual doctors, and indeed even a few clinics try to work this way, but all have to rely on other suppliers of services or expertise and these are not organized to function to be continuous, to be collaborative and many are not at all patient centered. We believe that everyone should test not only their own interface with the health care system against these critical characteristics but also to use them to guide us all in the pursuit to drive the necessary and critical change.
Greg’s tragic loss is the first case to be reported here. We may choose to add some others as well, that we will have been provided by others who also want to share their experiences with you for the same reasons: People like us who want to have you benefit from their experiences and be better prepared to aggressively support your individual pursuit of care in the system, and to have you more informed and able to help support the change you believe needs to occur within the health care system in Alberta.