Friday, October 05, 2007

The rest of us would have had to wait

Some might call it luck. I'd call it privilege.

It was pure luck that former prime minister Jean Chrétien was part of a Monday golf foursome that included Montreal cardiologist Dr. Guy Pelletier. Chrétien, 73, told Pelletier about chest pain he had been experiencing. Pelletier advised him to see a doctor, since the pain could be related to his heart.


But the next day, with his chest pain worsening, he listened to his daughter, France Desmarais, who urged him to get treatment immediately. He cancelled a trip and went to the Montreal Heart Institute. There, emergency quadruple-bypass heart surgery was carried out successfully. His prognosis, his doctors say, is excellent.

No hospital waits for him. He shows up in the morning and has a quadruple bypass before the day is out. Somehow I don't think that is the standard of health care service the rest of us can expect. We would have had to wait.