A lack of trust in the Canadian healthcare system

I wrote a post a while back about the wide array of issues I experienced with the Ontario healthcare system in regard to figuring out what was wrong with my foot. After seeing several doctors, one of which who told me I was making up the pain in my foot for attention and further than the pain was all in my head, I finally came across a phenomenal surgeon who was able to tell me the problem with my foot, and fix it as well.

The trouble I went through to find a doctor who could properly diagnose my injury was incredibly frustrating. I lost quite a bit of faith in the system after this experience, but told myself it was an exception and that these sorts of scenarios don’t occur regularly.

Well, I was wrong.

My current family doctor, whom my family and I switched to after our previous doctor thoroughly screwed my dad’s health, was already on thin ice with me in terms of referrals. Back in May, I went to see him about my skin, and he told me he would make a referral for me to see a dermatologist. I went back to him in July for a follow-up appointment, and he informed me he forgot to put the referral through.

Since we’re only human, I realized that the situation wasn’t that big of a deal, and he formally apologized.

During the same appointment in July, I requested to be sent to see a specialist to try and figure out the root of my stomach issues. He said he would send the referral through that same day, and so I went on my way.

A few weeks had passed, during which I periodically phoned my doctor’s office inquiring about why I hadn’t heard about an appointment yet. His staff assured me that it was simply the result of long wait times, and that the specialist’s office would be in touch soon. I continued to wait, yet three months later, I still had not heard anything.

I called my doctor’s office again last week, only to learn that my doctor forgot to send the referral through yet again. Two referrals in a row were not sent, and now I’m back to square one, waiting for what will likely be months to get an appointment with a specialist I assumed received the referral in July.

I asked my doctor’s nurse to put me through to an administrator to file a formal complaint. I left a message and don’t expect to hear back.

These sorts of situations in the healthcare system are infuriating, and extremely dangerous. What if I was in a situation in which these two referrals were crucial to my health? These sorts of errors can lead to fatal consequences, ones that are completely unacceptable.

At this rate, I think I’m better off using WebMD to diagnose my injuries. At least there’s no risk of referrals being forgotten.

Photo on <a href=”https://visualhunt.com/re/3b8226″>Visualhunt</a&gt;

 


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