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    1. #1
      Senior Dog
      TuMicks's Avatar
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      Health care... not!

      Right, so for a lot of last year, I had intractable asthma. Took a ton of prednisone. I got sick enough at one point that it scared my family doctor. So among other things, she had me schedule an appointment with the Pulmonary Specialists. It took them 3 months to find a slot. So, I finally got in in late August. I was supposed to get pulmonary function tests and reschedule another appointment.

      Well... my hubby had surgery just before Labor Day and with one thing or another, forgot. I called for the studies, and they were able to get me in for them in a couple of weeks. But the followup with the pulmonologists? Late March, almost April. (Interestingly, this is almost a year from the time I began that downward spiral. A year. One Pulmo visit in that time.)

      So, what this means is that, basically it's up to the family doctor to treat complicated asthma whether she feels up to it or not. For all practical purposes, our town has no specialists. And I can tell you why. The changes that overtook health care in the US forced private practices to close. Now you call the big Health Corporation and they see you when they get around to it.

      AND... I had to ask the scheduling lady to set me up for a routine mammogram, which she did. Then I told her off-handedly that I hope the studies are negative. Think of all the specialists it takes to treat breast cancer. Oncologists, specialized radiologists, surgeons...

      Scary.

    2. #2
      Best Friend Retriever
      Anna Scott's Avatar
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      We sometimes complain about our health care system here in Canada but let me tell you it is there when you need it. When I was diagnosed with breast cancer on a Tuesday and scheduled for surgery on the following Thursday my sister went nuts and wanted a second opinion. I had an appointment with an oncologist on the next Monday and he set her mind at rest. The surgery was done as scheduled and here I am 16 years later hail and hearty. This last summer it has been my sister under going chemo and seeing ever other specialist for heart, liver, blood even thyroid all with out a cent coming out of our pockets. She has had two knee replacements over the last several years and the longest wait was 6 weeks. Don't know if we are just lucky but I can't complain.

    3. #3
      Senior Dog
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      I know many specialists see new referrals in order of severity based on their criteria. I don’t know if their guidelines are set per provider or department. Unfortunately oftentimes what is a severe and debilitating illness doesn’t meet their criteria “on paper”.

      when I was referred to hematology my PCP’s RN did all of the leg work and phone calls to get me in within days of the initial diagnosis.

      I do do know that every organization works differently. At my previous employe, a newly diagnosed diabetic had to wait 6-9 months for their new case endocrinology visit. By the time they got in, it was no longer a new issue. At my current employer, newly diagnosed diabetics have a follow up appointment with an endocrinologist or diabetic case manager within 48 hours.

      Its all all the luck, or unluck, of the draw.

    4. #4
      Senior Dog
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      Quote Originally Posted by Anna Scott View Post
      We sometimes complain about our health care system here in Canada but let me tell you it is there when you need it. When I was diagnosed with breast cancer on a Tuesday and scheduled for surgery on the following Thursday my sister went nuts and wanted a second opinion. I had an appointment with an oncologist on the next Monday and he set her mind at rest. The surgery was done as scheduled and here I am 16 years later hail and hearty. This last summer it has been my sister under going chemo and seeing ever other specialist for heart, liver, blood even thyroid all with out a cent coming out of our pockets. She has had two knee replacements over the last several years and the longest wait was 6 weeks. Don't know if we are just lucky but I can't complain.
      Honest to Pete... things are so screwed up in our town, I'd be willing to take a nice driving vacation to Canada to see a specialist... I'd bring my checkbook and not complain. I'm on medicare so if I can get in to a doc, it's covered. No worries. But shoot, what good is it if you can't see one.

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