Good news. I found a family doctor.
Back when I had my cold/flu/bronchial thing, I applied to become a patient of Dr. New Doctor. I had heard via Facebook that he was accepting new clients. As I filled out the applications, I agonized about how to answer the question “Why did you leave your last doctor?” Should I explain the difficulties I had with my last MD here in Brant County? I decided to not make mention of her at all. I wrote that I moved from London and that it was too far to travel. A little white lie.
I submitted my application and continued my search. A friend in HR at the local hospital gave me a lead on two more MD’s that might be accepting patients. I called Dr. New Doctor Two. To my amazement, the receptionist began the intake process over the phone. When it came to the part about my recent MD, I prepared to tell another white lie. However, her next question was had I obtained the “released from care” forms?
Um, what? No one told me about this! No wonder I haven’t heard back from the other MD’s! One simple check with the Ministry of Health records would reveal that I was under the “care” of Dr Barbie and they’d discard my application!
Dr. New Doctor Two’s receptionist told me to call the ministry to complete that task.
Fine. I called the MOH and got that ball rolling. Results in a week to ten days. Back to wait mode.
The other day, my answering machine light was blinking. I didn’t recognize the caller ID. Wrong number? I thought. Or maybe it’s someone about the Women’s Institute. I listened to the message and just about dropped the phone.
Dr. New Doctor has agreed to take both of us on as new patients. I feel like I’ve won the lottery.
It shouldn’t be that way, though, should it? Medical care as a crap shoot?
Of course, debating what should or shouldn’t be is folly, for clearly our system is broken. Every single one of us has a story to tell. Here’s the most recent to come in my news feed this morning. A Facebook friend “liked” a news article about a husband and wife medical team who are opening up their office as the city’s only walk-in clinic for those who don’t have a family doctor. Their aim is to “relieve some of the patient load in the emergency department at Brantford General Hospital.”
Here is one mother’s comment:
The problem with the new system is that you have to phone every morning to see if you can get an appointment. It’s a small miracle if you can get it. I had a small child with a fever of 104 for 3 days that wouldn’t go below 102 using cold compresses and alternating Tylenol and Advil. I knew it was strep throat. Phoned every day for 3 days for an app’t with the doctor. Couldn’t get in. Showed up with 2 crying kids, one in agony, no one had slept for 3 days. Begged for an appointment, was told to go to ER. It would have been a 5 min app’t to do a swab and write a script. Sat in ER for 5.5 hours with those 2 kids before finally getting a script. This is the problem. There may be a small handful of people who abuse the system but I believe(and my nursing friends tell me this is true) that the system is the problem. They set time & financial restrictions for the doctors and cut nursing positions when they are barely coping with the patients they already have and remain so top heavy it’s pathetic.
The first thought to cross my mind was “a wing and a prayer.” That’s all many of us have when it comes to our medical system.
A wing and a prayer.
These are the terms that describe our health care system. It doesn’t need to be this way. We live in a wealthy country. We have the resources. Problem is, the people holding the purse strings are oblivious to the people who need health care.
It’s an old story. I’m ready for a re-write.
Categories: In Other News
Tags: health system