Monday, October 16, 2006

Medical care in Ontario

I resist going to the doctor at the best of times... I will "wait until tomorrow" several days until the crisis eventually abates. It inevitably means that if the issue is something I can't deal with herbally, then I suffer longer than most, due to my resistance. Is it ego? No... Is it fear? No... In fact it is the terrible logistics involved in getting care in the first place... We were here 6 years before there was a doctor to transfer to (and before we're talking a 200 km round trip to Guelph, plus parking and meals, and a whole day). When I called for an appointment for Angeni with pneumonia 3 weeks ago, I was put off 24 hours, and the doctor asked why I didn't get her in sooner? Ask your receptionist, doc.

This morning, at 8:30 AM I phoned to ask for that appointment I so dread making. I told the nurse I have developed a sinus infection... My choices - see my doctor on FRIDAY (this is Monday) or see the Doctor on call, at the same clinic, at 10:30 AM this morning. We've had to utlize the doctor on call as many times as we've managed to see our doctor, in the 20 months we've had him in Durham... Blame the doctor shortage? Sure... Blame the whole system of universal healthcare? Maybe. Continuity of care is broken when one is getting whatever doctor is available. This isn't like I'm having a life-threatening issue, but it is serious enough for me to seek care after 13 months of steering clear. Last time it took me 10 days to get seen for a bowel obstruction - 5 days because of me putting it off as "the 'flu", and 5 days just waiting for an appointment. What if I'd required surgery?

Can you tell I'm frustrated?

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