Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Part Two: Here's what's wrong (and right) about healthcare

Welcome to Canada, that glorious land where I will swear our healthcare is better than that of the US. Why? well, obviously, because my healthcare is free and easily accessible.


Before I moved here, I lived in a "Have" province (clearly, in direct opposition to where I currently reside, a "Have Not" province.) Want to see your doctor? Call him, you'll have an appointment later this week. Don't like your doctor? Call another office, they'll have you in within two weeks, faster if it's an emergency.


I have lived in this province for SEVEN YEARS, and have not had a doctor that entire time. I am almost 39 years old, so, notwithstanding any other normal medical issue that may come up? Skipping your annual Pap test? Not such a good idea.

Oh, and both of my parents died at the age of SIXTY? Yeah, I might want to see someone.

I am currently on three separate waiting lists, trying to get a doctor to accept me as a patient. See, our medical system works like a charm if you have always lived in this province, but if you have the audacity to move in to it? I hope you doubled up on your inhaler medication before you left home, because dude? You are SCREWED. (And, just to be morbid? I called my father's doctor just after Daddy died, and essentially said, "Listen, your case load is now down by One...and you guys clearly know our family's medical history, so...can you get me in? No response.)

So tonight I cut myself on a can of dogfood. Cut myself so badly that I called my Mum for her advice. And after I tried her suggestion and it didn't work? Called the 1-800 number for our provincial "Telecare"... they're kind of the people you call when you sincerely don't know what to do, or when you have no place else to turn.

Based on what the lovely Shannon, a registered nurse told me, I need to haul ass to an after hours clinic tomorrow and get a tetanus shot. But what else the Lovely Shannon told me? There's a provincial registry I can add my name to, something I didn't know before. WHY DIDN'T SOMEONE TELL ME ABOUT THIS BEFORE??

I hate to get graphic (because, hey, my MUM reads this) but in addition to the fact that the top of my left index finger doesn't seem interested in staying attached to my body? I have an expired IUD in my uterus right now, and no way to get it out, because I don't have a doctor. After seven years of waiting.

And I'm sorry, but that shit is just messed up. I deserve the same healthcare as any other Canadian, regardless of where I live. God knows my taxes pay for it.

And thank God that the lovely Shannon took the time to tell me there is something else I can do. It may just be adding my name to yet another waiting list, but at least I did it.

Edited to note: Just so we're all clear, I haven't been waiting seven years to get my IUD out, I have been waiting seven years for a doctor. The IUD expired, like two months ago, which is an inconvenience, NOT seven years ago, which would just be gross and disgusting.

Kinda like me talking about my IUD in the first place.

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