Thursday, September 11, 2008

What Have You Done?

Few things send a shiver up my spine more than war stories and I just had the honour of hearing a major one. I just met a man who, in 1943, was a rear gunner for the Canadian Air Force. After a mission into Germany he was shot down over the North Sea and had to jump from the airplane. He was rescued and reassigned to another flight crew. One month later, his plane was shot up again over Germany and he had to bail out again over England, breaking his ankle on landing (with a parachute) and walked for a week to get back to base.

I spend about an hour talking with this gentleman. He showed me his membership card to the Caterpillar Club (only those who have survived bail out's can become members) and the Goldfish Club (only those who have survived 'ditching' at Sea are members).

As we approach federal elections in Canada on Oct 14th and the US in November stories like this are great reminders about civic duty. Here is a man, who at the age of eighteen, left home and country to serve and very nearly lost his life; twice. The least that we should do as citizens is look at the parties beyond 30sec news bites and make an educated decision about who is best based on platforms. Health care wait times have been a major issue for the past 5 years in Canada. While it goes under a different name in the US, access to basic primary care is the same issue. I would like to know how the parties intend to a) improve access to primary care b) increase the number of primary care providers c) decrease wait times for diagnostics and surgical care d) fund proposed changes.

As the election season kicks into full gear I'll continue to post party platforms from both the US and Canada.

1 comment:

ERP said...

I love to hear war stories from patients. My favourite recently was from a man in his 80's who lost his right arm on D-Day +3. He was a tank commander who stepped outside and was hit by a tree that fell on his tank. "It was a damm German 88!!" he said that had shot the tree. The best part was that he maintained humour about it. The registrar asked him to sign his consent for treatment and offered him the paper saying "are you right handed?" - he said "I used to be!!
" and showed her his stump. I cracked up.