Tuesday, September 26th, 2017

Your Health Care Options

6

Is your health and quality of life important to you? Are you tired of waiting on lists for medical care? Me too.

Once upon a time Canadian patients sought access to high-quality medical care in hospitals. These days, patients are encouraged to avoid hospitals in which staff and bed shortages make lengthy ER waits and hallway nursing the norm, the quality of care is often questionable and you’re lucky if you leave without some hospital-acquired infection. What is a patient to do? Where can they go? We’ll help find the answers to these questions.

Over the coming months we’ll start exploring the health care options available to you inside and outside of a public health care system. We’ll take a look at what type of medical facilities and services are available within Canada. Each year thousands of Canadians are forced to travel outside the country to access care. We’ll find out where they go and how they do it. We’ll also find out the different ways of financing the medical care you need.

Stay tuned to find out more about your health care options.

Comments

6 Responses to “Your Health Care Options”
  1. Henry Evans-Tenbrinke says:

    You should get your facts straight. I recently underwent triple by-pass surgery at the Hamilton General Hospital. I did not catch any infections and the staff were phenominal. As for wait time, I saw my cardiologist one week, had my angiogram the next week and was on the operating table the next week. The Public Health care system does work. There is how ever a need for more front line staff. Instead of giving hospital CEO’s six figure pay increases, more of those funds should go into actual front line care.

    • admin says:

      Henry,
      I’m glad to hear that you received great medical care in Ontario but there are patients suffering from hospital-acquired infections and there are patients waiting on lists for surgery – those are the facts.

      • Kartik says:

        don’t forget many who die waiting for diagnosis and treatment or people whose needs go unmet. The staff do all they can but it’s not always possible – there’re too many jurisdictions whose needs are unsatisfied.

        • admin says:

          Kartik,
          I know how difficult it can be for patients trying to navigate our public health care system in search of access to high-quality care. I can only imagine how difficult it must be for the doctors, nurses and other health care providers forced to work within the limits of this system.

          • Kartik says:

            many have reported patient deaths on their watch – but through no fault of the physicians. We love criticizing the US but really our system is equally screwed up with government bureaucracies and unions making decisions for us – and controlling our money and decisions.

  2. Maria says:

    There is a critical shortage of doctors, and has been for years – depending on which province and city you live in. I live in a city that is growing in leaps and bounds yet we can’t seem to get doctors here. I currently have to travel 1.5 hours to see my GP and almost an hour to see my pain doctor. I deal with physical disabilities and driving to these appointments is very taxing on my health. Unfortunately, most doctors have closed their waitlists which means more people going to overloaded walk-in clinics.
    My longest wait (18 months) was to see a specialist. After that very long wait, and exacerbated symptoms are a result, when I had to go back for a follow-up I was told I would need a new referral which would put me back on their waitlist; I didn’t bother. While my situation isn’t life-threatening, I’ve had my current illnesses/symptoms get worse as a direct result of waiting, and I often don’t fully recover. I also know elderly people who are dealing with more serious issues and still have long waits. Then, after waiting months on end, you are given 10 minutes to explain everything that has been going on in your body and maybe another 5 for the doctor to examine you. There are a few doctors – rare gems indeed – who are more concerned about patient care and will take whatever time necessary to provide the best care possible.
    For decades we Canadians have loved to boast about our top notch “free” medical care for all Canadians, regardless of income That began to change as the federal government started unloading more and more of the escalating costs onto the provinces, as well as reducing the number of services covered (eye exams, home care after patients are discharged from hospital, etc). Am I thankful that I don’t have to worry about how I’m going to pay for the bulk of my medical care? Yes. Would I be able to say that if I didn’t have third-party insurance through my employer? Absolutely NOT!
    As someone mentioned earlier – both the Cdn and US systems are broken. I wonder how bad things have to get before they completely collapse and HAVE to be rebuilt?

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