Nfld. & Labrador·Humour

The patient? N.L.'s health-care system. The prognosis? Negative

The patient collapsed after going missing in rural Newfoundland and Labrador, writes contributor Edward Riche in a satirical column.

The patient has collapsed from exhaustion, writes Edward Riche, and things don't look good

The Health-Care System of Newfoundland and Labrador was taken to hospital after it collapsed on the side of the road, writes contributor Edward Riche. (Shutterstock)

This satirical column is by Edward Riche, a St. John's writer.

The patient, the Health-Care System of Newfoundland and Labrador, was reported missing from a rural area of the province. The Health-Care System was found, disoriented, on the Trans-Canada Highway, claiming it was trying to hitch a ride west to Port aux Basques. The Health-Care System told the RCMP that it was going to mainland Canada or the United States to become fabulously wealthy somewhere it could afford heat and food and where the people were all young and healthy. It then collapsed from exhaustion.

After a seven-hour wait on the roadside, the Health-Care System of Newfoundland and Labrador was conveyed to emergency, by ambulance, where, 38 hours later, it was triaged. The Health-Care System was in poor condition, confused and combative, refusing treatment.

Tests revealed high levels of self-regard in the system. The patient's ankles were covered with rat bites. It appeared the patient was addicted to big pharma and big medicine.

The patient insisted on being given many unnecessary or redundant diagnostic tests. The subject of wellness was broached but the patient pointedly ignored it by focusing on their phone screen and pretending to not having heard.

A social worker was assigned to the case, and an investigation revealed that the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, who was responsible for the Health-Care System, had been either negligent or abusive to its ward for years. The Government denied this claim, saying that it had never denied the Health-Care System anything, that it had, in fact, been spending more and more every year on the Health-Care System even as the Health-Care System's condition deteriorated.

Intervention rejected

Confirmation of this fact prompted a further, more thorough examination of the patient. This second examination revealed that the Health-Care System had a greatly enlarged administration, and it was suggested the administration be lanced and drained. The patient refused to consider this intervention, demanding a second opinion following another battery of irrelevant diagnostic tests. This demand suggested the patient was becoming ever more irrational so a psychiatric evaluation was arranged.

The patient was found to be suffering from delusions, had a persecution complex and was paranoid. Assistance in the form of nurse practitioners and, in the long term, the doubling of graduates from medical schools across Canada were perceived by the patient as a scheme to diminish their status in the community and eventually curtail their considerable earning power.

The Government was informed of the Health-Care System's condition but seemed unable or unwilling to address it. The social worker suggested this inability to grasp the situation was owing to the Government's cognitive deficits.

Without urgent care and a radical change in lifestyle, the prognosis for the Health-Care System of Newfoundland and Labrador is poor. Hospitalization is recommended but there are no beds available at this time. Emergency surgery has been scheduled in 46 months.

Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador


Edward Riche

Freelance contributor

Edward Riche writes for the page, stage and screen. He lives in St. John's.


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