Sunday, October 7, 2012

Are women, babies on Vancouver Island still facing inadequate access?

I've been under a bit of a proverbial rock over the last couple of months - first preparing for the arrival of baby W and then in the sleep deprived after-glow of the first few weeks of life with a newborn.

This past week I have gotten around to reading the defenses that have been filed with regards to the litigation I have decided to pursue with respect to my daughter's 2010 birth. The health authority claims access was available but not exercised by my physicians (a deprivation of patient autonomy). My physicians claim that access to the needed resources was not available, and that use of the back-up anaesthesiologist was limited to "life and limb" emergencies (a deprivation of access to medical services). There's also a sprinkling of blame the victim and inconsistencies of facts. Next stop examinations for discovery.

I also came across this news article which indicates that reports of dedicated obstetric anaesthesiology (DOBA) may have been premature. It would appear that women giving birth at Victoria General are still facing challenges accessing the services of anesthesiologists when they need them as those resources are frequently called upon to provide care to other emergent patients.

Timely access to anesthesiologists should Be a given, and an adequately resourced system should be able to provide for the needs of pregnant women AND other patients. It is deeply concerning that it appears that the problem persists.

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