Wally's comments on life, on music, on pianos, on church, on the Bible, on Palm Beach County, politics, and whatever else pops into his head.

Monday, August 22, 2005


I have been recently involved in some medical decisions about my uncle, and have seen some serious flaws in our country's medical care system. The only other country I can compare it too is Venezuela, where I lived for a total of 12 years during the 17 year span from 1979 to 1996.

In Venezuela, on nights and weekends, pharmacies participate in an "on duty" system whereby there is always one pharmacy available for medicines and other medical supplies. Each pharmacy posts the "on duty" list by its door. A customer never has to drive very far to find one available.

Perhaps a similar system could be used for other medically related services, such as physical therapists, speech therapists, etc., and even doctors. In the case of my uncle, he was recuperating from double bypass surgery at a hospital in Miami, 65 miles away from me. But because he also has a catheter for bladder function and uses a "Servox" buzzer for talking, there were other complications in his recovery.

Finally, after nearly three weeks, he was transferred to a Rehabilitation Center in West Palm Beach. But because of complications with the catheter, he went to a local hospital until that was stabalized, then off to a different Rehab Center.

He is not able to stand or walk on his own. He tried to get out of bed yesterday, but fell and bruised his head. He needs daily physical therapy and daily speech therapy, and possible other types of therapy. But because it was the "weekend", nobody in these specialties was "on duty". So his condition has deteriorated.

So my proposition is this: In these critical care areas, let there be "on duty" persons available for situations such as that of my uncle.


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