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LETTER: Broken system has impact on mental health


Our health-care system is always changing. Its weaknesses were highlighted once the pandemic was called. Three years later, little to nothing has improved.

How is it that we have reached the point where many of those involved at all levels, as practitioners, patients, and members of the public, describe the system as “broken”?

Obviously, I am not qualified to undertake answering this, apart from offering my direct exposure to it as a patient.

After more than a decade of misdiagnoses, including two unnecessary surgeries, my heart defect was finally diagnosed seven years ago, leaving me fitted with a pacemaker. With many medical episodes since, more than a dozen ambulance rides to the ER, with the most recent being Sept. 11, the dizziness, losing consciousness, heart palpitations, and shortness of breath, were again tested for. Follow-up being complicated by hospital departments unable to see patient records after hours held by clinics, I was sent home. The symptoms remain.

Doing my homework in preparation for this letter was made more stressful by the complexities of the deeply intertwined health systems’ disfunction, and how they, in turn, overlap with numerous other enormous public and private systems impacts on policies and interventions. I can’t possibly cover it all, but I want to hear from fellow readers about their thoughts and experiences relevant to improving services, practices, and policies. I reckon that we, the end user, may know a thing or two, that may assist the elected in finding actual solutions.

William Perry