Retired RN Joanne Zerr is grateful for care recently received at Shuswap Lake General Hospital. (File photo)

Retired RN Joanne Zerr is grateful for care recently received at Shuswap Lake General Hospital. (File photo)

Letter: Recent Salmon Arm hospital patient urges support of public health-care system

Retired RN shares experience with health care in the U.S.

I am a retired RN who had to go work in the U.S. in 1996-98. We don’t want their kind of health-care system!

I recently visited my daughter and grandchildren in B.C. I ended up with a UTI so bad I couldn’t stop shaking. I knew I was in trouble and couldn’t wait until I got back to Saskatchewan to see my doctor. So I went to the Salmon Arm hospital for just a prescription but they had to give me IV antibiotics. It took five hours but they treated me wonderfully even though they were busy.

I commend the excellent care of the doctors and ER nurse Susie for the professional care they extended to me. I am forever grateful for their care.

I know our health-care system is in distress across Canada and felt guilty going into the ER. But privatizing our health care is NOT the answer.

Working in the U.S., I learned first hand the drawbacks of their system. A single parent in my apartment building, her son had asthma but no medical insurance. Her solution for his attacks was to give him hot coffee. A neighbouring couple who worked but couldn’t afford medical insurance, their teenage daughter split open her knee, should have had stitches but they instead came to me where I steri-stripped the wound up, applied a dressing and prayed it wouldn’t leave too bad a scar.

One of the school kids in our building was selling raffle tickets for a classmate battling cancer because although his family had medical insurance, it didn’t cover all costs for his treatment.

It’s those with low income or with medical insurance that doesn’t cover all costs of treatment who suffer!

Please, be proud of our health-care system and lobby our governments to invest in improving our health-care system at all costs.

Joanne Zerr

Read more: Letter: Shuswap Lake General Hospital staff appreciated

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