Two of our nation’s most prominent icons came together in a Vancouver suburb Monday, as overflow patients at the Royal Columbian Hospital were treated at the hospital’s Tim Hortons doughnut shop.


Which proves that if you live long enough, you’ll get to write at least one totally mind-blowing headline just like that one.


But it’s all true. They had 190 patients in the ER, and as all the broom closets were full, they moved the table and chairs out of the Timmy Ho’s and moved the patients and gurneys in. Hospital personnel got a little confused as the doughnut shop performed double-double duty as an extension of the ER.


Nurses caught themselves telling patients to roll up their rim instead of their sleeves and wanted to know if that EKG was to go.

“You want it toasted?”

Patients, used to lining up for what seems like forever only to have some distracted cashier get their order wrong, felt right at home.

You want to know what’s really hilarious? The doughnut shop is actually part of the hospital’s official overflow plan. Some poor sap was forced to stand in front of the TV cameras and actually maintain they’ll do it again the next time they have 190 patients at once.

Yeah, right.

This is either a cleverly designed PR move to shame the province into forking over more money to the hospital, a sneaky plot to introduce private (franchise, no less) health care, a new way for ER personnel to get their coffee breaks on a busy night, or a complete breakdown of the Canadian health care system.

If you ticked All of the Above, you’re probably right. Have a Timbit. Have another one.

It’s more than a little ironic people are being treated in a cholesterol pit. That’s why half of them end up in the ER in the first place. Too many doughnuts. But if we’re going to keep this up, we may want to install patients in the Salad Loop or Fresh Express. It looks better on national television.

It’s also unfortunate for U.S. President Barack Obama, who’s trying to convince his fellow Americans to make the American system more like Canada’s. I’m not sure what Rush Limbaugh will make of the spectacle of treating ER patients at Dunkin’ Donuts, but by the looks of him, he’s at least familiar with the product.

Of course, it’s not all bad. Where else can you get a BP/blood work combo with extra large coffee? And it comes with a choice of biscuit or English muffin.