Our health system has worked well for me
I have been sick since October 2016 and have been treated for a number of ailments, some very serious. I have nothing but good things to say about the care I have received to date.
In my opinion, it all begins with having a family doctor. Without one, a person is at the mercy of clinics/hospitals for referrals to specialists. (We have all heard of stories where someone without a family doctor suddenly is discovered to have a Stage 3 or 4 illness.) The family doctor is the hub and all the other services are the spokes on the wheel of the medical system – testing (blood, urine, etc), X-rays, MRI, CT Scans, PET Scans, referrals to specialists, etc. Having a family doctor means follow-ups are done regularly, which could involve changes in treatments/medications/dosages, etc. With no family doctor, you are at the mercy of a system where you could “fall through the cracks”.
During the course of my various illnesses, I have been referred to numerous medical specialists - dentist, NET (nose, ears, throat) doctor, thoracic surgeon, IM (internal medicine) doctor, geriatric doctor, and (finally) a neurologist. At various times, I have had dealings with two hospitals (Hull and Montreal General) on the Quebec side and once with CHEO in Ontario. I have also received help from social workers, physiotherapists, nurses, a speech pathologist. All this from places such as the Aylmer CLSC, the Aylmer Day Hospital (didn’t know we had one, did you?), other medical clinics in the region, and my pharmacy - Uniprix.
The only down-side has been the wait times to see specialists, but this is not the fault of doctors. It’s a matter of numbers – the numbers of sick people, shortage of facilities, family doctors, etc.
This has been a collaborative journey for me and I am very grateful for the concern shown by the numerous persons in the health care field. My wish is that no one has to go through the medical system as I have had to do, but if you do, I have to say the Quebec system has worked well for me.