Mixed wards a violation of patients’ privacy rights

Re: Female patient ‘panicked’ during stay at hospital, Jan. 21.

To the Editor,

Re: Female patient ‘panicked’ during stay at hospital, Jan. 21.

Sometimes good is not good enough, like the measure and incident above.

Mixed gender wards have no justification at all, and all the excuses and explanations in the world are not good enough either, especially when they come after the fact.

Most ladies have been married and shared an intimate life with their husbands, with all the attachments there of. When one is ill, distraught, weak and very vulnerable, hospital care must be about care of the whole patient, not just “where is a bed” available.

It is mortifyingly humiliating to be placed in a mixed ward, where many of life’s most intimate moments are uncontrollable and deeply stressful. That goes for men and women.

Not only is the patient ill, but also ashamed to be in such a cruel position and that again causes more complications. Not to mention the awful nightshirts all patients are forced to wear, which flop open at the back when walking.

I have seen a lady walk down a passage in our hospital, aided by a walker, and her entire hind area exposed to the busy public passage.

In this country, where privacy concerns are always loudly voiced, it is strange to hear of no privacy concerns in Canadian hospitals. The system is deeply flawed people are too timid to discuss the flaws, but there is a great need for improvement.

Jean Parkin

Nanaimo