An Okanagan grandmother is speaking out about the care she received while at Kelowna General Hospital (KGH) earlier this year.
“I would’ve been gone in a few days,” said 81-year-old Gretchen Dawson.
From cancelled appointments to improper equipment use and suggestive language; Dawson believes she received “awful, awful, awful,” care during her stay at the hospital.
Dawson had open-heart surgery in 1987. In early March, she went to the hospital for shortness of breath and ended up staying for six days until her echocardiogram, which is scheduled for every two years.
According to Dawson, the appointment for the echocardiogram was cancelled numerous times before she and her husband let the nurses know how they felt about the type of care she had been receiving.
Dawson said she is deeply concerned with the quality of health care in Kelowna; the lack of proper training for health professionals and inadaquate attention to paitents from hospitalists (physicians whose primary professional focus is the general medical care of hospitalized patients).
In reply to Dawson’s complaints, Beverly Sieker, health services director for perioperative and maternal and child services at KGH wrote in an email to the Capital News, “We are proud of the care our staff and physicians are providing at KGH. They are saving and improving the lives of patients every day.”
Hospitalists have been deployed to hospitals over a decade ago and increase every year in accordance with the demand, Sieker stated. There is currently about 35 hospitalists in Kelowna.
The main purpose of hospitalists are to relieve family physicians from the duty of following up with patients who were admitted to hospital, said Sieker.
However, Dawson’s concern with hospitalists is that she had no idea who was coming to look after her.
Sieker said KGH has more than 80,000 emergency department visits and 24,000 admissions every year.
“Relative to these volumes, the number of complaints we receive are small and, in the vast majority of cases, patients are satisfied with the care they receive.”
KGH urges patients who have complaints or concerns to contact the hospital to encourage improvements for future patients.