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A change in attitude might be all that is needed February 16, 2011

Posted by dtenjo in Canada, Doctors, Medicare.
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I’ve always been very critical of the medicare, the medical system in Canada, whereby  very basic healthcare is universally guaranteed for citizens of the country. The idea behind it is great, nobody thinks it is wrong to offer free healthcare, particularly to those who otherwise would not be able to afford appropriate health care, and those who would constantly need medical care such as seniors or those with medical conditions requiring permanent and expensive care. However, to me the system is less than ideal as service is less deficient due to the “free” nature of it. There are incredibly long waiting times, and patient care by medical staff most of the time, at least from my own experience lacks professionalism and cordiality.

I had always had experiences of poor relationships with doctors, thank God I have never required serious care such as emergency situations, or dangerous illnesses, but for me every time I went to see a doctor had been an unsatisfying experience. I never felt the human side of doctors, and it never felt like I was treated in a cordial way. Doctors always seemed to be rushed, and with no intention of making me comfortable at all. I always blamed this on the medical system because as is the case with any free service that you receive, you can’t expect excellent service. I had always been thinking that there would be so many ways to improve this, starting, perhaps, with modifying the system, whereby medical services do not necessarily have to be fully provided by the government, allowing private practitioners to offer medical services, that way those who can afford to pay for the service would do it, freeing up some space and resources for the public offering of health services.

Well, it turns out I was wrong. In order to improve the service provided by doctors, it seems like all it takes is a change in attitude by them. Yesterday I had a very gratifying visit with a doctor, Dr. Gdih, an oculist, with whom by far I had the best doctor’s appointment I have had. He actually greeted me politely and professionally, looked at me when he was talking to me, took the time to listen to me, asked questions, and was very willing to provide as much information as possible. He was really busy, seeing patients all day long, and working through lunch and breaks, according to his nurse, but he was still very polite and professional. That excellent experience got me thinking: so, it is possible that doctors improve their service, all it takes is a change in attitude. I don’t know if it has to do with the education doctors receive in Canada, or if it is just cultural, but it would be really nice if there was a change in doctors so that their relationship with patients is better, and their service appears more professional.

I was wrong, a whole change in the medical system might not be necessary, all it takes is a change in the doctors’ approach to the way they provide their service.


Watch out, Canada. Your reputation is at stake March 15, 2007

Posted by dtenjo in Canada, Environmentalism, Politics, Seal Hunting.
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Canada, the “nice” peaceful country, liked by most, famous for its “peace” keeping missions all over the world, is risking this reputation of being a nice and peaceful nation due to the very permissive laws on seal hunting. Since last year, the entire world seems to be trying to persuade the Canadian government to set tougher laws on seal hunting, and nowadays, when ecology and the environment seem to be a hot topic in the world, that would make a lot of sense.

However, the Canadian government seems to continue allowing for the hunt of high numbers of harp seals. The main argument is that this activity represents the means of living for many inhabitants of Northeastern Canada including some Inuit groups. It seems obvious that this argument lacks any kind of ground, as it can be compared to arguing that growing coca should be legalized in Andean countries as this represents the most profitable means of living for peasants there. If developing countries like Colombia or Bolivia must find ways to stop this illegal activity, and replace this activity with other economic activities for those peasants, you’d expect that Canada, with one of the most highly developed economies in the world would be able to find alternate ways of survival for people who currently kill seals for profit.

European countries are currently considering banning all kinds of trading of seal skin. This can’t come soon enough; as a matter of fact, if should have already been banned. I mean, what do humans really need to use seal skin for? -Nothing that we won’t survive without. Trading seal skin should be banned, and that way withdraw the main reason people have to massacre innocent seals in many countries, but especially in Canada.

The world is asking for some action, and if Canada does set tough laws against seal hunting, its reputation in the world will be terribly affected. A country that is famous for its strong and liberal democracy, a country that represents one of the best places to live in the world, a country that takes pride on its peacemaking missions should act in favor of the earth and the environment, not in favor of the greed of some of its citizens. (more…)

“freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression” June 20, 2006

Posted by dtenjo in Canada, News and politics, Politics, Society.


I was very surprised when I found out what happened yesterday at Ryerson, a Canadian University in the province of Ontario. It turns out that a person who was receiving an honorary degree, was shown signs of disrespect from other professors, and people in general. While Margeret Sommerville was receiving her degree, inside of the auditorium some professors turned their backs and held protest banners on stage, while in the stands and outside, other people showed all sorts of signs of protest.

The reason?.. It turns out that Dr. Somerville, has some views on the negative effects that same-sex marriage would bring to society. Does it make any sense that gay rights supporters, those who fight for freedom of thought, freedom of speech, and diversity in society are disrespecting a person in this way? To me this shows a double morale, in which they want rights for some people, but they fail to recognize the rights of others.

They say Dr. Sommerville is a homophobic, failing to recognize that the fact that someone points out the negative effects of same-sex marriage on society, and specifically on the children, does not make a person a homophobic. Homophobic people, as those who fail to accept gay people and discriminate them, should not be tolerated; however, people who find negative views on some of the concessions that gay supporters are demanding, should be listened and respected.

In a society that feels proud of its diversity and its freedom, all persons should be able to express their views on matters that affect everyone, as long as these views don't attack anyone's integrity, and are expressed in a respectful way. Just like gay supporters should be respected in their views, those who point out some potential negative effects on some of the gay issues, should also be respected at all times. Gay people have many rights, and so do all the other people in society. No signs of disrespect should be tolerated on someone's views, especially in the Canadian society.
If we want a society the has solid grounds, debate should be welcome. Otherwise society will be partitioned, conflict will be generated, and the values that govern society will never be clear. The Canadian charter of rights and freedoms regards the freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression as a fundamental freedom. A ceremony where a person is recognized for her academic achievements should not be sabbotaged, as this act of disrespect attacks the fundamental freedom in question.


Street Racing… a real solution? June 16, 2006

Posted by dtenjo in Canada, News and politics, Society.
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The bill passed yesterday by the Canadian Conservative party is not a real solution to the street racing problem. All the did was add to the level of risk and adventure that this activity represent, and therefore make it more attractive to street racer, as after all, that is one of the things those people like the most about street racing.

On top of harsher penalties for illegal street racing, I consider that the government should create other programs to address the problem, like education, and providing a space for street racers to legally and safely be able to practice what could be an interesting hobby.

Education is keen on all this. There should be programs that provide information for young drivers on the real risk that this represents for them, and for all the other citizens. An option would be that every person that owns a car of certain characteristics, that can potentially be a racing car, should go to instructional sessions before they can register the car under their name. We also need to create a real conscience on street racing, and make it socially unacceptable. I consider that this time it is very well worth it to spend some money on publicity against this.

Not too long ago I also heard what I think is a pretty good idea to provide spaces where street racers can legally and safely practice their "hobby" I think it was an NDP representative whom I heard this from, and I do consider this would be a nice way to tackle the problem. After all, street-racers like to do this, they spend time planning the races, and setting up their cars. Why not provide some space to legally do this? I would be possible to close some streets, perhaps in the middle of the night, in areas that are not too populated. This way street racers would not feel the need to illegally find their own space.

Bigger police presence is also very important, but I do understand that this is hard, as increasing police presence is so hard due to the fact that there are many other things that police already have to watch for. I do think, though, that police departments in the city could do a bigger effort on this to enforce the law on street racers, and stop their illegal activities in Canadian cities.