In 1934 the Concordia Hospital, (on the Red River property pretty well next door to the LaSalle Hotel), was opened by the Mennonite Hospital Society Concordia. I was born there about a year later. Old Doc Oelkers was the medical director at the time. I'm not sure he had any idea of what he was in for with wave upon wave of Mennonites showin, up at his door, blabberin' away in their German dialect about every gawl danged ailment imaginable. He lasted until 1962, which was remarkable, all things considered, since it was one of the finest hospitals around. I'm sure exhaustion finally did him in.
People were full of hope with the new hospital too, designed by an award-winning architect. It was state of the art. Well, enter the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority, and its reputation went downhill faster'n feces down the drain of a septic system.
That's what I wanted to talk about here. You'd think by now all the bugs would have been worked outa the system, but no, all of the dysfunction is still well entrenched into the hospital operation. I was witness to that the other day when I had occasion to be there. I took my sister there over a blood clot in her leg. That would have been about ten a.m. I went home to wait for a call when she was all done. At about one o'clock she phones and says she's just waiting for results. She's all done, so I go down. I'm smart enough not to park at meter number eleven cause its still outa order (again). By three o'clock they finally drag her to a day bed and I go sit an' wait. I notice a sign on the wall toutin' practitioner nurses bein' used in place o' doctors.
Long story short, at four thirty we go home without my sister havin' been seen by a doctor. Well, the doctor didn't have time 'cause he had to see a fellow who had been waitin' for eight hours already. What about the nurse practitioner she wanted to know. "We don't have one," he said. WHAT? They got a sign on the wall askin' us to support a non existent nurse practitioner? "Well nobody has applied for the job."
It don't take long to find out where the problem is. Seems like the Health Authority has modeled its operation on one o' them automated chicken processin' places where you hang the bird up at one end o' the chain an' it goes through all the operations 'til it comes our plucked an' eviscerated at the other end, ready for the oven. That ain't the way it works folks! The whole business can be summed up by that broken parking meter out front. What's the point of puttin' money into somethin' that don't work anyways? Ol' Doc. Oelkers must be spinnin' in his grave. At least that's how it seems to me from up here on the top shelf.