In Sickness and In Health

A year ago people were in a panic to get the H1N1 vaccine. Today, it almost seems like the outbreak never happened.  This week we ask what the fuss about H1N1 was all about -- and how prepared are we for the next pandemic?  

Also on the program calling them out -- on calling in. We look at what happens when sick doctors and nurses show up for work. We check in with a healthy panel of residents and a healthy panel of nurses who share their thoughts on sick days.
 
Nurses have sick days built into their employment contracts.  A self-employed physician isn't compensated for time off.  But the money issue is really a minor one.  Both doctors and nurses feel a keen sense of responsibility to show up for work.  As you'll hear on the show, sometimes they -- and I -- have taken that responsiblity to unhealthy extremes.
 
To me, the central problem with health professionals taking time off work when sick is that the system doesn't provide adequate replacements to look after patients.  Until it does, people like me are probably going to show up when we shouldn't.  I just hope there's a good supply of surgical masks, gloves and alcohol hand sanitzer.
 
This episode of White Coat Black Art is broadcast on Saturday, November 13 at 11:00 am and again on Monday November 15 at 11:30 am on CBC Radio One.
 
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