What’s with the flu shot runaround?

Open Letter to Health Minister Doug Graham: I have tried repeatedly to receive a flu and shingles vaccination since this fall at the community health centre on Quartz Road. The first time was after 1:30 p.m., to be on

Open Letter to Health Minister Doug Graham:

I have tried repeatedly to receive a flu and shingles vaccination since this fall at the community health centre on Quartz Road. The first time was after 1:30 p.m., to be only told that their drop-in times have changed from full afternoons to 45 minutes/day and Friday afternoons.

I returned a few days later to be turned away as they were too busy (second time). The third time, again I was turned away – too busy!

I pointed out that this “drop in” was not working. They suggested to make an appointment, which I did on the spot.

The fourth time, the day of my appointment, I receive a call advising that they were out of shingle vaccine. I tried to reschedule. However, I could not as they did not know when the vaccine would arrive.

I asked if they could let me know when it arrived and then set up an appointment. Well, that was not possible as they were too busy to do that.

The fifth time I phoned last week for an appointment and they were booked over two weeks in advance. I explained that I was off to Mexico in two weeks so an appointment would not work. They advised to come to the Friday afternoon drop in.

Last Friday afternoon (sixth time), the parking lot was full as it usually is and I found a parking spot across the street. I made my way across a busy street only to find that the waiting room was full, standing room only – did not even wait to be turned away this time. Returned later the same afternoon (seventh time) about an hour later to find conditions even worse.

This morning I arrived at 8:25 (8th time) only to find several people, many with children being turned away. I personally saw over 20 people being turned away. I too was turned away. A woman at the door stated that, “we are too busy, you will have to come back another time.”

My personal experience with the refusal/incapacity to deliver basic health care to the citizens of Whitehorse, myself specifically, started last September. Your department does not seem to be able to adapt over time to this growing need for vaccinations.

It makes one wonder how responsive management could or would be in a time of real crisis. It would seem that no one thought of scheduling extra drop in times?

By your department’s own advertising one would get the impression that vaccinations are important for the public to have.

In summary: Eight trips/appointments to the Yukon Health Centre. No vaccinations. Turned away every time with no proactive management in place to notify when vaccines would be available and to accommodate such delivery. I witnessed many other people, many with children in tow, also turned away, with no real clear hope of getting a vaccine in a reasonable time frame.

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Ron Chambers

Whitehorse

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