Mile 0 of the Yellowhead

Drifting up 8 floors from the corner outside St. Mary’s cathedral in downtown Winterpeg, the voice of the street prophet mingles in a singsong manner with concepts from Safer healthcare Now! and nursing theory. At this point in the day I can no longer tell which is more full of bullshit. I am leaning towards favouring the nursing theories, but it could be a close race.
 
The learning series has just closed with an excellent address by Stephen Lewis (not THE Stephen Lewis, but the other Stephen Lewis) an expert of Canadian health care policy. The public needs to get upset about the care they receive in the healthcare system. The risks are too great and too often, but being Canadian they are unlikely to be too upset and vocal unless it involves their favourite hockey team winning the Lord Stanley’s Cup or maybe the Tim’s being closed. Why is that? We have one of the once best systems in the world and it is devolving into a dangerous practice.  I think involving the patients and the families in the improvement process is the way to motivate and accelerate the changes necessary. It will be a long fight, tooth and nail, but necessary in the long run for the health of the country.
 
A walk after the conference through the walkways and channels of above street level Winnipeg gives rise to the idea that the city is essentially First Nations. Mothers with strollers, adolescent gang members, old tired men, authoratative impatient middle aged women – they people this city now as they did 6000 years ago when the Forks was a meeting ground. I stood at mile zero last night, a cold wind blowing over a bleak spring landscape at the forks. The flooding has not yet started but I suspect soon.
 
The rain is falling now, a light rain, not yet phrophecizing the flood, yet out on the street corner the prophet continues his singsong. Back home tomorrow. Back to the convolutions and complications of implementing a safer healthcare system. Perhaps I should look to the street prophet for help.