“Bait and switch” doctors of Aylmer
First the “bait”: A couple of years back, Aylmer residents were overjoyed to hear that a new doctor was opening an office in our town! After 40 years of travelling across the Champlain Bridge to doctors in Ottawa, I woke at the crack of dawn and waited at the front of a long line up to submit my family’s names to the waiting list. When we were accepted, we cancelled our doctor in Ontario and anticipated actual full-coverage health care for the first time in our lives in our own home town! I tell you, we went like fish to the hook. Appears my new doctor was but a wiggling worm to bait Aylmer residents over to the new superclinic in Hull. It had been too good to be true, but what choice did we have?
Within the year, my doctor, having accomplished his mission to onboard us in Hull, moved to - where else? - Ontario! I was told that another doctor at the clinic might accept us if they chose to be so merciful.
And here comes the “switch”: our new doctor has just informed us that he is moving to a yet another new clinic - this time in Gatineau! The commute is not dissimilar to our Ottawa doctors three years back.
To add insult to injury, recently a new medical clinic was opened on the same block as my home here in Aylmer, but none of the doctors there will accept us as patients. Moreover, the city’s failure to plan for parking at that clinic has turned my once quiet residential street into a parking lot for patients who are luckier than we. Now, if my children are injured while biking on our overly congested little street in Aylmer, I can drive them all the way to Gatineau for the care that we initially believed they would be able to get only a couple of minutes away.