I’ve been a Canuck all my life and even though I spent 10 years in UK, I always bragged about The Great White North amazing healthcare system. Sadly, that all stopped on January 1rst of 2012. Since my return from Blightie about 8 years ago, I have been unable to find a GP that will take on my wife and I. Side note: The kids are being taken care of by an amazing pediatrician who is also a fantastic doctor at the Montreal Children’s Hospital and my wife was able to get a ObGyn for her two last pregnancies.
The sad fact is that there aren’t many “general practisionning” doctors in the Montreal Area and the few that are left are so old they have stopped taking on new patients so that they might be able to actually retire one day. The growing to trend is to blame the US for stealing our talented young new physicians or that all new med students are “Specializing” in order to earn more money. I don’t really know what the real factors are but it sucks if you’re not the kind of person that gets ill very often. I might get a cold once or twice a year, and only every other year do I actually need more than over the counter meds and good rest. But this year is not one of those, I appear to be suffering for a sinus infection brought on by a cold that has last far too long. So my options have been to take an entire day off of work to sit in a CLSC or open clinic with 20-30 other very sick people and hope that I might get seen that same day or try my luck with after hours waiting rooms at a hospital.
None of these are a very good option. I don’t want to be that guy at the office that infects everyone else either. So you can imagine how upset I was when my twin boys got my cold and had to see their doctor for some antibiotics. I was so angry that I asked my wife to speak with the Doctor to see if he could find me someone whom I could see. After all, I had known him for 8 years and even though all my kids had regular check ups, no one has looked into my ear or asked me to poke out my tongue in all of that time. As I am now pushing forty, I have no idea if my blood pressure or cholesterol are OK. This is starting to become a stress point.
Well, the Doc came back with the goods and it’s no secret either, all you need to do is call up your CLSC or drop-in clinic and ask to be put on the GP referral list. This is a real thing and not at all run by some shadow-medicare unit. Once you get on this list you will be paired with a GP in your area within 2 months. It’s not the greatest or fasted thing in the world but it does work. Now I still have to go to the drop-in clinic for this sinus infection, but the ball is already in motion for me to meet my new GP and begin the Knowledge Transfer that is my health file which is mostly just sports injuries, the odd case of indigestion and a few bouts of tonsillitis.
However if you are a geek loving GP in the West Island, please leave me a note in the comment form below and we can talk on the side. M-Kay? Thanks
One thought on “Cold Season and Medicare in The Great White Shaft”
Don’t forget Quebec’s healthcare is public-private: if there really was a demand for GP’s there would be lots of GPs (even lots of private ones). But if people only go when they’re sick (instead of once a year like they’re supposed to) then no one’s going to be GP and hope for a plaque or something to pay-off that Volvo XC90!
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