Ok, so we Canadians spend a lot of time bragging about our health care system, and in some ways I suppose it's warranted.
For the most part, our health care is free. It does not include cosmetic surgeries like 'Breast Implants' (Yes I checked) unless they are deemed medically necessary.
When I was a child I had one doctor. I had this doctor until I left home, moved to the city, and had a life of my own. I loved my doctor; Dr.D.Mulder was his name, and because he'd been my doctor since infancy, I trusted him. I remember when I was 13 or 14 my mother caught me smoking. She ratted me out to the doctor who proceeded to tell me how terrible it was to smoke; but when the door was closed chuckled lightly and asked "Do you ever crave one right after dinner?"... but I digress..
When I moved to Alberta I was lucky enough to find a doctor that I really liked. She even delivered my first child. I trusted her also, and felt 'safe' that I had her. She was my doctor for about 12 years until I got a letter in the mail stating she was closing her practice. I was 7 months pregnant with my last child at the time, and had a panic attack that I no longer had a doctor.
My husbands doctor agreed to take me on as a patient; and even though he wouldn't have been my first choice, I was desperate.
A few months ago I went to see said Doctor for my dreaded physical, and decided he wasn't so bad..but alas, two weeks later my husband and I received a letter in the mail stating he was cutting his practice in half; We had been dumped.
This leaves my family without a family doctor. At first I was pissed off! Don't I have the right as a tax paying citizen to have a doctor?
After I thought on this a few days however I grew indifferent. Why? Well there are several reasons:
-1- When your child is sick, needs a prescription, referral, check-up, or doctors note you normally call your family doctor..right? Wrong in my case. Every time we call the doctor they tell us the next available appointment is months later, no matter the urgency; so what do we do? We go to the walk in clinic of course.
-2- In the olden days you went to your doctor, and you might have had two or three things you wanted to discuss; but today there is that ridiculous rule of one issue per appointment..so what happens? You either try to book an extra long appointment, or you discuss your most pressing issue leaving all other health related issues to a later date.
-3- Kind of like number 2 but different; So you get in to your doctor..finally..and you discuss your one pressing issue, but they are too busy and too hurried to ask you questions or examine you..and you end up getting a prescription for ammoxicillan or some other type of cillan without you or your doctor really knowing what your problem is.
It is no wonder that our walk in clinics are packed with people and that there are line ups (kind of like the ones in front of Best Buy on Black Friday) just to get in the door.
Sometimes I wish our system was a little American (yes I said that). I would willingly pay a premium to have guaranteed access to a doctor. Having said that however I would live in constant fear that my children, husband or myself would require some life saving treatment or surgery..and god forbid one or both of us lost our jobs; then what?
Ho Hum.... maybe we'll eventually be able to access our doctors virtually on skype via our handy dandy iphones; I'm sure someones already working on that.