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In Defense of Dr. John Ross

Dr. John Ross will go down in history as either the gutsiest guy in Nova Scotia or a whining, incompetent that couldn’t get his way. Remember on January 20, he was the emergency room doctor at the QEII in Halifax that was tired of patients backing up in the ER. To get things moving he called a Code Orange. Basically, he fired off an order that the ER was in crisis mode and it could not cope with the inflow of patients unless all of the resources of the hospital were used to solve the problem.

Well, you can imagine the management noses that got out of joint on that one. THis was a big news story, and as a result of the Code Orange everyone in hospital had to start answering questions.

Hurray for Dr. Ross! The ER was faced with a problem of patients coming in, but the hospital was not providing places for them to go once they were admitted. Now you would think that since this story had hit the airwaves and papers on Monday, that anyone in the hospital ( who didn’t have their heads in the sand ) would have been working on Monday and Tuesday to fix the problem without having to resort to a Code Orange. You would think. But no. People were waiting more than 24 hours for treatment and there were more than half-a-dozen ambulances parked at the entrance “storing” patients. No beds were being opened. Once the Code Orange was called the problem was fixed in under three hours! So, what we have here is an organization that was either unable or unwiling to solve the problem on its own. Dr. Ross’ call just put a gun to their heads and made people get off their duffs and do something.

The CEO of the QEII, Chris Power, stated that she didn’t think that it had to go to that level and that Dr. Ross had other lines of communication to resolve the problem. When asked whether Dr. Ross had tried those lines of communication she replied that she didn’t know. Didn’t know! Guess what Ms. Power, it is your job to know! You should have been aware of the problem on Monday morning and even if you weren’t taking calls from any of your staff that day, you should have been aware of the problem on Tuesday if you had paid any attention to the news media. So, what do you do before you are called in to meet the Minister of Health. You fire the COO (Chief Operating Officer) a guy you hired away from the Calgary Health Board and year earlier into a position you created. Way to cover your butt, Ms. Power. Remember Harry Truman? – “The buck stops here!” That means you Ms. Power. If anyone was to fall on their sword it should have been you. That is your ship. And if you are not at the helm during a time of crisis you don’t deserve to be there.

But in the defense of the QEII, I am sure there were some very high level meetings going on to schedule a meeting to discuss an agenda for a future meeting to discuss problems in the ER. Without Dr. John Ross this problem would have been resolved in 2012.

Now we hear that Dr. Ross has had his responsibilities changed within the ER. He is no longer in charge of day to day operations of the ER department at the QEII. Since I have not read any news stories quoting him on how happy he is with the change I can only assume that he was pushed. Way to go Ms. Power.

In Ms. Power’s defense, here is a statement and video she made to the Capital Health

http://www.cdha.nshealth.ca/defaultnc.aspx?page=NewsDetails&news.Id.0=36688

Good words, but I fear that they are from the same old hymn book.

I remain,

A Sour Kraut.

6 Responses to “In Defense of Dr. John Ross”

  1. CrankyZ Says:

    It’s pretty clear that the Iron Law of Bureaucracy has been flourishing in the health care system for quite a while now.

    “In any bureaucratic organization there will be two kinds of people: those who work to further the actual goals of the organization, and those who work for the organization itself. In all cases, the second type of person will always gain control of the organization, and will always write the rules under which the organization functions.”

    It sure seems that Ms. Power is the second kind of person.

  2. Tina Says:

    John Ross seems to be the type of person that changes thing, that sees problems and tries to change them. How is something suppose to get fixed if no one knows it’s there? It’s a shame really because Ms Power is the things that stops change from happening. Mr Ross was right in an interview he gave. Nothing will change.

  3. BJ Says:

    Thank you, for supporting this great man. I have had the honor of meeting him myself, and I can say I have never met a nicer man. The behavior of the Nova Scotian government in response to his decision is shocking. Who are they to question the actions of a highly qualified emergency room doctor, who is seeing first hand the problems our hospitals face. Who are they to rebuke him for trying to help a failing system. Let me say, that if the members of bureaucracy who are complaining, were some of the 18 patients who desperately needed emergency care, but had to wait for hours on account of the overcrowding, I believe they would be forever indebted to this man. Let us shift our paradigm to see things from the patients point of view. I would love to see a formal apology and some kind of honor paid to Dr. Ross. I can only hope that if I am ever in need of care, and the hospital is too busy to take me, the chief in charge will do what is neccessary to help me, not call superiors on the phone so as not to draw attention to a problem. John Ross made his decision not because it was easy, but because it was right. Could the province of Nova Scotia ask for more from its doctors…or its citizens?

  4. Sour Says:

    BJ your comment about the bureaucrats being upset waiting for their own health care needs is right on the money. Too many times have I heard people in the system and politicians stating the there is nothing wrong with the system and then using private clinics or queue jumping to get treated. We have to realize our system is broken and those running it are the biggest part of the problem.

  5. MaryKati Says:

    Looks that I saw here Халявная акция.

  6. Nadine Siler Says:

    Illuminating and a joy to read! I have added your web site to my rss feed. Be sure to keep me updated!

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