Doctors without conscience

I do admire and respect Doctors Without Borders (Médecins sans frontières). These are doctors who care about the lives of all humans and want to do good. On the contrary there are those who have a medical license and practice “in the name of the mighty dollar”. How can you make money today ? By affiliating yourself with the pharma industry. One of the largest world-wide industries (after travel and insurance) based on the simple need for medication.

An insight into large factories producing tons of synthetic medications which are then in turn prescribed by doctors without conscience. Some going as far as prescribing opioids and other pain killers to children. Recent case here in British Columbia, Canada. Sixteen year old died of opioid overdose.

[ https://bc.ctvnews.ca/b-c-teen-s-accidental-overdose-started-with-prescription-drugs-parents-say-1.3896404 ].- CTV News, Vancouver, BC.

This is only one case in many. How many more patients including children must die of opioid overdoses after having been prescribed such dangerous chemicals by a doctor, and consequently becoming addicted ?

The big pharma industries who produce new pain killer drugs, sometime without adequate testing, are only too happy to test their drugs on unsuspecting patients, which is done via the public medical system by doctors and clinicians.

The fault for all those overdose deaths lies squarely on the shoulders of the medical professionals who prescribed the drugs in the first place, and then stopped when realizing an addiction is forming. Next step for the patient is to try get their hands on street drugs, heavily laced with additives. Fentanyl is one of the major killers. Yet, many surgeries and even minor screening diagnostics are using this drug fentanyl, pretending that in a clinical setting a patient can easily be revived by a counter-drug. I personally, recently, when offered a screening in a private clinic using these IV induced drugs, declined the procedure. Neither do I take pain killers despite lots of chronic pains.

[ https://www.drugabuse.gov/related-topics/trends-statistics/overdose-death-rates ]

I personally would also not blindly trust a doctor trying to prescribe medications to me, nor would I allow a doctor to get away with a slap on the hand after the death of a patient. Frankly, since moving to BC I have been prescribed drugs, and after investigation and researching the effectiveness and warnings of that drug, decided not to fill the prescriptions. That’s why I am still alive now. Pain is the norm today. It’s better to deal with it and be alive, instead of dead by overdose of opioids or ending up with a damaged liver or kidney. It should be noted at this point that no doctor or clinician can force a patient to take a prescription drug.

(RE. My latest post on “How heal a shoulder rotator cuff injury without drugs.”

[ https://renataveritashistory.com/2018/05/14/healing-rotator-cuff-injury/ ]

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Ministry of Public Health British Columbia

Public Health Care System British Columbia

[ https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2018HLTH0027-000559 ]

The latest in pressurizing the medical profession and the only functioning clinics (albeit it private) within the public health care system of British Columbia. Responsible for public health is the

[ https://www.leg.bc.ca/learn-about-us/members/41st-Parliament/Dix-Adrian ].

Having resided in British Columbia now for fifteen years my personal health has been going down because of the impossibility of finding general practitioners or family doctors or getting regular life-saving tests done. British Columbians like me must rely on the Walk in Clinic system of which most have closed down in Victoria, BC. The only way BC residents can get timely access to any standard procedures like for example endoscopies/colonoscopies, for early detection of cancers is, to go through one of the private clinics and get it done.

It is a blatant human rights violation to force patients over 55 onto lengthy wait lists (some as lengthy as over ten years) for procedures to early detect cancers that are easily preventable.

Even younger patients had to die because of the Ministry of Public Health decided that it should be illegal and punishable to find surgical and other procedures outside the long wait lines. The Government of BC thereby imposing hefty fines onto private facilities who offered short wait times.

As far as my experience goes: The publicly funded health care system in BC could only come up with the odd X Rays, blood tests and other lab work. Nothing substantial and life-saving has ever been done within the triage and waiting lists system. What is also allowed within this publicly funded system is extensive use of filling unnecessary prescription drugs, another form of killing patients.

BC Minister of Health. What is suspicious is, that someone like this has been elected over and over again since 2005. Would you like to ask Mr. Dix how timely he gets all his regular standard (life-saving) tests done and where ? I bet he jumps the line automatically. Politicians should never run a public health care system, but only members of the medical profession should. That is what saves lifes.

Medical Health Care System – Victoria, BC

If the government medical system does not function because of over inflated bureaucracy, patients will be killed. Unnecessarily. One of the biggest problems is the shortage of family doctors, or general practitioners, who are doctors with a medical degree. Specialists apparently we have. But wait times are years. For a large population of senior citizens this does not bode well. The system on Vancouver Island is driven by the Vancouver Island Health Authority, now operating within a so called electronic TRIAGE system.

[ https://www.viha.ca/about_viha/news/news_releases/psa_cdh_ed_24feb16.html ]

There are several “arms” to this triage system: One is a variety and number of Walk-in Clinics in various locations; the second is 911 Emergency for hopefully some hospital (preferably not on weekends when most accidents occur); the third is an Ambulance system operated by a private company. The last on this list is: See your doctor. Wishful thinking. I never found out in fifteen years in Victoria, Vancouver Island, which doctor they refer to.

Walk In Clinics: The majority I know and have seen sprouting up over time have closed down, moved, or when there really is an emergency, cannot accommodate patients, because of the absence of enough doctors. One of the now available services are http://www.ehealth.ca for patients to allow access to their lab results.

Besides managing myself and relying on medical study and information research, gathered from very reputable world class clinics

[ http://www.mastersinhealthcare.com/blog/2011/10-most-prestigious-medical-centers-in-the-world/ ], I have been let down too many times by clinicians at the local clinic that I had frequented now for ten years in Victoria, resulting in mostly self-management, as well as paying for (health care covered) treatments out of my own pocket.

Strangely enough, some of those nurse practitioners assume the title of Dr. without having any medical degree, or they are referred to as Medical Doctor (by the system) without correcting this. [Check with the College of Physicians and Surgeons, this is a No/No.]

Examples of personal horror stories over the years include: Fractured metatarsal foot — form for assistance to get to hospital DVT clinic/large blood clot, sent to Vancouver instead of Victoria where I reside. Severe osteoporosis needing every 3-year BMD test — form sent to Timbouktou ?, indicating low priority. Medical fitness form for Ministry of Justice for drivers license — exam paid by me $100 to doctor, but test done by some temporary nurse, who among others took one blood pressure only instead of several, while during the test try to chat with me and upset me, outcome was elevated blood pressure.

Rotator cuff and shoulder injury two years ago — getting me into a program of corticosteroid injections and see a physiatrist who suggested to sell me more of those steroids, after a large tear in my tendon had been confirmed. Thanks, but no thanks ! My right arm/shoulder is now disabled. I personally have yet to see the MRI images, showing the large tear in the supraspinatus/tendon, done June 2017.

Just recently, when mentioning that a certain condition that I have and am sure about (comparing the images on the Internet, published by the Mayo Clinic), I was told “Sorry, I am not familiar with this condition”, and next (and I quote): “I do not look at the Internet.”

It is appreciated that clinicians go by the health care rules. However, we all know that every minute of every day some new discoveries are being made especially in the medical field. We also all know that all useful information that has helped so many for so many years is coming to us via the Internet. One only needs to rely on all the NO FAKE news and research. I usually rely on the best world wide known and respected clinics, such as for example the Mayo Clinic, John Hopkins [ https://www.usnews.com/info/blogs/press-room/articles/2017-08-08/us-news-announces-2017-18-best-hospitals ]. (Myself having graduated from an old very reputable ivy league college in the USA, and specializing in information systems research.).

And today’s doctors whose main goal is to advance medical research in practice all use the Internet. To also inform the public. [ https://getreferralmd.com/2017/01/17-future-healthcare-technology-advances-of-2017-referralmd/ ]. So, if anybody tells me “I do not look at the Internet”, I am not only scared, but very sorry.

Again, what’s this Triage system about ? Regulations, forms, unavailability during weekends, or personal opinions by clinicians, or worse, yet, personal opinions about patients themselves ?

I wish I had studied medicine full-time, but still cannot look up my own behind, needing a medical professional and equipment for this.

Victoria Johnson Street Bridge Project – FOCUS Magazine

A city bridge building nightmare: Replacing the City of Victoria’s older Blue Bridge across a short span of water by the Inner Harbour with a monstrous newly designed bridge, whose design had started in 2009 and over time resulted in numerous design flaws and serious construction problems without to date not having accomplished an acceptable, simple, safe and correctly engineered design.

CONTINUING COMMENTARY. See also my previous post [ https://renataveritasopinion.wordpress.com/2018/01/06/victoria-bc-johnson-street-bridge-project/ ].

Victoria’s FOCUS Magazine, Chief Editor David Broadland, is publishing important and detailed information about the new bridge’s project history and the mistakes being made by those responsible and in charge of this project. {That’s where my nightmare scenario came in.}

Victoria BC is not a big city and compared with any larger municipalities and their own bridge building projects, this new to be built Johnson Street bridge (near its Inner Harbour) should have been completed years ago (having started around 2009), and to early specifications taking into account the high vulnerability of this (Pacific North West) location to major earth quakes. And – allowing for some budget overruns – should have been within the budget limits set.

Maybe I have missed something in all those years. I came to Victoria in the Fall of 2002. As a property owner since 2002 I also pay taxes to the city and its officials. The same people who have been screwing up this bridge building project so badly. Yet, I am not aware of any referendums or elections in all those years. If there were (and as quoted in FOCUS they were held), than I certainly would not have voted YES to anything that would have been proposed. May I apologize for anything I may have missed all those years ? [Food for thought: Committees just like Councils are notoriously known for not accomplishing anything.]. What was and is missing for such a project (albeit a small bridge) are professionals.

I like to thank FOCUS Magazine of Victoria and David Broadland for the excellent information distribution and research done on this project. It certainly enlightens the public. I assure you I will be there when the next civic election comes around.

Victoria BC Johnson Street Bridge Project

A city bridge building nightmare: Replacing the City of Victoria’s older Blue Bridge across a short span of water by the Inner Harbour with a monstrous newly designed bridge, whose design had started in 2009 and over time resulted in numerous design flaws and serious construction problems. Not to mention the number of design consultants, engineers and other assorted groups contributing to this project and making a killing of income (through the City and its tax paying residents), without to date not having accomplished an acceptable, simple, safe and correctly engineered design.

A warning sign should have gone up when the major structural steel parts of this bridge (the two large rings supposed to lift the bridge deck) had been farmed out to be constructed in China with Chinese steel. In all these years this bridge building project has been going on, I never really noticed anything that questions the reason why these two major steel parts of Victoria’s bridge had to be built in China. To save money ? After already excessive millions had been spent on this project for design, consulting and (doing exactly what?), but not accomplishing much. Here is an interesting article regarding construction quality in China, written by a Chinese.  [ https://business-humanrights.org/en/china-poor-quality-construction-work-low-standards-lead-to-fatal-building-collapses-says-analyst ]. No wonder that the two large steel rings arriving here in Victoria have major design flaws and already needed patch up repair.

Personally, I would avoid using this bridge once it gets finished. Not only because of design flaws that can lead to collapse even with a high wind, but also because I am certain that this bridge like all construction in Victoria, BC, is not built earth quake proof.

We are in quake country in a highly seismic zone in the Pacific North West. A major quake and resulting tsunami will come. Did any of those early design consultants and engineers even consider to take this into consideration ? Of course not. Once the bridge is in place, those responsible for design, consulting, and building (not least the City itself) will have “left the building” – in other words, like the rats leaving the sinking ship.

Condominium Ownership – (revisited)

It always amazes me how few property owners (either already owning a condo or contemplating buying into one, exchanging their home) know the consequences of being a condo unit holder. A condo is not just an apartment, far from it, or a living space, in fact condo ownership is equivalent to any share ownership in any corporation. A condo corporation is the overriding corporate entity responsible for jointly owning, managing and controlling a condominium building, whereby each owner has the right to vote (usually during an annually occuring General Meeting) jointly with all co-owners. As it is impossible and not practical that all owners in a condo building also manage the day to day operation, there will usually be a property management company – who are non-owners – responsible for this, paid for by all condo owners. Mostly – also for practical purposes – represented by a Council, all of whom should be owners.
In other words, condo owners cannot easily control what changes or improvements they may want to make to their units, nor can they control (except by special vote) what expenses are required for the building and grounds. If expenditures are mismanaged, it can blow a big hole into the (jointly owned) contingency fund.
The only advice I can give to prospective purchasers of a condo: look closely at who manages a condo building, even more closely check out the finances, how much is the remaining contingency fund.
It is well known that buildings depreciate at an alarming rate, the only appreciation comes from the land base and/or is market driven. And older buildings in the absence of sufficient funds require regular special levies over and above the monthly condo fees. In the long run this can cost a unit holder a fortune.
Alternatives to condo ownership are: Either remain in your house and stay in control. Or, sell out and rent, use the money for paying a portion of the rental costs. This way, you can travel whenever you want.

International Women’s Day

March 8.

The earliest Women’s Day observance was held on February 28, 1909, in New York and organized by the Socialist Party of America. It started as International Working Women’s Day. Somehow this is connected with the rise of socialism in society and also as a result of male shortages after two world wars, that women were forced to do men’s work. Particularly in countries that were hardest hit by those wars: Russia, Germany. After the almost complete destruction of my homeland workers were needed to re-construct. We called them Trümmerfrauen [ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tr%C3%BCmmerfrau ] women who cleared the rubble left by Allied aerial bombings and started with shovel, pick and axe to rebuild, in the absence of men (fallen at the front lines).

I admire more than anything Russia’s women, who as early as 1907 started revolutionary movements against the Russian Monarchy, resulting in the abdication of Czar Nicholas II, and beginning the Russian revolution, March 8, 1917. More on feminist reforms from 1850 to 1917 in Russia [ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Women_in_Russia ]. While the rest of the world needed to wait to get women into the actual forefront of becoming real laborers. Talking about those who don’t wait for some husband to carry out the garbage or drive the car.

[ http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/30/business/economy/women-as-family-breadwinner-on-the-rise-study-says.html ].

The right to vote is not all that makes a woman more equal than a man. Hard labor is, equal labor is and taking the same decisions as any man, even when married. I always feel when a woman is married, she can never be quite equal. Only when she needs to work to survive, or when she is by circumstance a single mother. How does voting right enables a woman to become more equal if she is still under male guardianship, like in Saudi Arabia, where dress codes are imposed and enforced.

In North America, today’s women’s rights movement is more about fighting for pay equality, getting more women into board rooms, or the military. Although military means that women soldiers must suffer sexual abuse by male soldiers. What do they do ? complain to their commanders. Meaning that they are not equal to men, else they would help themselves.

Claiming Refugee Status in Canada

Case studies. Unbelievable. It is 2017, not the 1960s when many Latin Americans came into Canada claiming refugee status. A couple with child, a second on the way, walking across the border from the United States, claiming refugee status from Donald Trump’s new policies, “to clean up the country of illegal migrants.” Pretending that if they are sent back to Honduras, the man will be recruited by some drug gangs. Even in Honduras there are not only drug gangs, there are also working citizens, contributing to the economy. These same people have lived in the US for two years, never accomplished to settle with proper jobs and integrate and get residency. Now claiming refugee status. How can Honduran war gangs have such a long arm to recruit (illegally migrated) Hondurans inside the USA ? Canada seems to be stuck with everybody and anybody. Welfare system exploitation, on the shoulders of hard working Canadian tax payers.

Myself came into Canada with an expired student visa, just completed my graduate studies degree program at a US University in New York State, with a 8 year old son, his father died two years previously in Europe, no family, no money, no food, living in my little car for weeks. Did not take me two years (on welfare ?!), but couple weeks to fight myself into the system and find a mediocre programming job (in Europe I had top IT positions, and a US graduate degree in Information Processing and IT) for starters. Never in my entire life and as a single mother did I get one single dime from any country. Neither my own then, or after becoming a Canadian citizen. Even when the oil industry busted in Alberta and all of us were unemployed did anybody get unemployment insurance. You pack up, get into your truck and go where the jobs are.

Shame on you, who want to exploit the system !

[ https://www.pressreader.com/canada/vancouver-sun/20170211/281479276163020 ]

[ http://www.insightcrime.org/news-analysis/appraising-violence-in-honduras-how-much-is-gang-related ]

VOCs and the real cost of carpeting

Ever heard of “off-gassing” ? How about VOC – volatile organic compound ? [ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Volatile_organic_compound ] Paints, stains, caulking, appliances, cleaners, new carpets – the backing of it – can contain high amounts of VOCs. These VOCs not only are the cause of offensive vapors and odors, but the active chemicals released can be dangerous to human health and can cause harm to the environment. New carpets, particularly nylon carpets, can contain highly toxic substances including formaldehyde and acetaldehyde. To those customers who purchase new household items and who are (as we call it) ‘nose-blind’, odors and fumes can be negligeable. That would most logically apply to owners of large department stores who are daily surrounded by their “off-gassing” products.

My own recent experiences recounting, let me first say that in forty years and many new carpet installations I had never experienced before any such “off-gassing” as with the last nylon carpet installed recently in my bedroom. I was told in the store that the carpet manufacturer – a large company in North America – has special awards for manufacturing carpets with LOW emission VOCs. (At that time I did not even know what VOCs are.).

After installing that carpet, over night the off-gassing drove me out of the room. Within one day I was beginning to show signs of serious upper respiratory problems,  all-night coughing and keeping me awake. I moved my bed into the living room. Within three days I ordered an expensive air purifier with strong carbon filter for processing VOCs, to install in my bedroom, and leave the window open day and night. It has now been two months since installing that carpet, myself still using my living room to sleep in. During that time there were various contacts with the store where I purchased that carpet. The carpet store did not come forward with any decent customer service (except ‘replacing the carpet with one similar’.) But instead referred the case to the manufacturer, who in turn maintains to have a super record for their products. No tests were done to confirm the level of VOCs. The carpet manufacturer’s warranty is for stains and soiled carpet only, but not for health-related problems caused by excessive off-gassing.

In summary: Is it worthwhile to purchase products that can cause both health and financial problems ? or, do research prior to any purchase to investigate which products are the least “off-gassing”, offensive and dangerous, and which companies are trustworthy ? I would advise,the latter.

{NOTE. Names of companies withheld.}

The good people of Fort McMurray, Alberta

do not deserve negative commentaries the likes of “you asked for it”, or “Fort McMurray hell on earth with oil sands developments destroying the environment”.

Myself, I worked for Suncor, Fort McMurray, on a computer contract in 1987. When I arrived in my old farm truck, I did not have a place to sleep. Prepared to spending the night parked in a street, sleeping in my truck (like so many times on the road). A lady saw me from their kitchen window, came down and offered me a sleeping place in the couple’s kitchen for that night, until I could find a room for rent. These were the years after the oil industry downturn.

Those who publish vicious comments on the plight of the Fort McMurray residents who had to leave their homes in a hurry, have apparently never experienced any losses. Like we had, loosing everything during WW2, and again during the 1980s in Alberta. Being forced to drive between Alberta and Ottawa to work on computer contracts.

Amazingly, fund raising – as usual – in full swing, which is good and can be bad, with some organizations again making profits lining their pockets with millions of donated moneys. I want to see that all donations actually go to those who need them, the people of Fort McMurray.