There is no money

For the last few years, every time I have taken my parents to the eye doctor, the minimum time we have spent waiting to complete the visit has been 3 hours. 

In most instances, we have waited there for nearly 6 hours.  

If you looked at the faces of the individuals in the room, sitting and waiting, you would think everyone was at a funeral.  

I have spent some time talking to the staff and the doctor on numerous occasions and have been given the answers, “it is the Government’s fault,” and, “there is no money.”  

The Centre has 4 main doctors. They schedule appointment roughly 15 minutes apart and I have counted on numerous visits, there are usually 30 people in the waiting room at any given hour. 

Roughly 100 people are coming and going at this Centre on a given day each waiting 3 hours at minimum.  

Imagine everyone’s time was worth at least $15 an hour. 

That is $4500 worth of lost productivity to our society each day. 

Annualize that based on a 250-day work year, that is over $1M in lost productivity for our community.  

At one meeting, I spoke to a technician who told me that she was the only person that knew how to use a certain equipment and that she would even come in on days she was sick.   

I asked her how much the piece of equipment cost, and she mentioned to me it was worth $75K.   

Now imagine, if the Clinic spent $75K on another piece of equipment and maybe another $75K on salary and benefits training another technician on how to use this equipment, it is conceivable they could reduce the wait time by at least 25% if not more?  

Could a $150K investment result in a $500K savings of time and productivity for our community year-over-year?  

You won’t be surprised when I spoke to the administrators the answer I got, “there is no money.”  

What they neglect to factor is that there is a cost of doing nothing and that cost might be substantially higher than the $ value of the actual money outlay.  

Two other simple concepts I use often when looking to make one-off irregular purchases, I ask anyone who wants to make a purchase to explain what the consequences are of not purchasing this item?   

I also ask if there is anything that we currently can’t do that we would be able to do if we made the purchase?

I fully understand the financial constraints for some organizations, yet immediately saying "there is no money," may not be the right answer, better questions should be posed.

Food for thought.