February 13th, 2020
In Feb 2019, I entered emergency at Kelowna General Hospital (KGH) with severe back pain. As I had herniated a disc 10 years earlier with subsequent surgery, KGH gave me a CT scan which showed damage, and had my first nerve block and was discharged. At follow-up app't with neurosurgeon, pain was not abating and an MRI was ordered - waited 4 months through government health system and ended up paying $850 through private health as I couldn't withstand further delay. Immediately saw surgeon again, who suggested another nerve block as conservative treatment measures were not working - relief only lasted 2 days. Surgeon agreed surgery was needed and put me on wait list, projecting surgery in 4-6 weeks.
After waiting 4 months, and being cancelled twice (due to emergencies) at KGH, and having my personal business impacted immensely over the 10 previous months, I chose to pay for back surgery at a private clinic in Vancouver. Between my original visit to the clinic, I was operated on in 3 weeks! However, my recovery has been slower due to the time between injury and surgery. My personal impact to our health system will now be greater due to need for increased physio, medications and more. This Canadian health care system isn't working, and as a baby-boomer, I have never been more concerned for my future health care.