UPDATE: Letter: Paramedics laugh at elderly man in hospital

I loudly told them to stop laughing that it wasn’t funny

UPDATE: Letter: Paramedics laugh at elderly man in hospital

UPDATE: BC Emergency Health Services says it has investigated this matter and determined that the paramedics involved were not BC Ambulance Service paramedics. “We take allegations like this very seriously,” said communications officer Preet Grewal.

Paramedics laugh at elderly man in hospital

I was visiting family at Cowichan District Hospital Friday, Aug. 25, around 12 p.m. While I was waiting for the nurses helping my family member to the lavoratory, an elder being escorted around the ward for exercise had an accident involving incontinence.

Two paramedics were in the hall with an empty gurney, and started laughing at the elder going as far as to say “clean up aisle 2” and continuing to laugh! I think I heard a nurse or two laugh, but I can’t be certain. I was appalled; I loudly told them to stop laughing that it wasn’t funny, told them they ought to be ashamed, to which one of them asked “why?” with a leer on his face. I then practically screamed, how would they feel if it happened to them? Of course, after I practically screamed at them a few people turned to see what was going on. I couldn’t believe that no one else appeared as though they would say anything. I am certain there had to have been six to 10 people in the area, maybe not all looking or paying attention but I could not have been the only one to have heard his demeaning and derogatory remark.

I have filed a complaint to Provincial Health Services Authority – Patient Care Quality Office. I was told an investigation would be started and that it could take up to 40 days. I was also asked if I wanted to receive information as to the resolution of the incident. They also told me if a satisfactory result was not reached that I could then call a different office. I honestly don’t have a lot of faith that something will be done. I posted the incident on my Facebook, and was even more upset that similar incidents have happened to others, even my own family, that people I know have seen this kind of behaviour and nothing was done despite complaints made.

I feel like more people should stand up and say something when a situation like this arises. That person is someone’s father, husband, or brother, uncle, son, or friend. By not standing up and saying stop to this behaviour it encourages it to continue. A higher standard should be upheld!

A servant of the people should not act like this! It is wrong! Even more so when that person works in such an honourable position!

Doreen Peter

Cowichan Valley