All I want…

All I want for Christmas is a …family doctor.   Really?  That’s it?  Good Luck.

Over the past 8 years (or so it seems), it has become increasingly difficult to find a family doctor. Don’t get me wrong, they are out there, but most are not taking new patients.

My beloved family doctor retired from her practice over two years ago to work for a government type agency. In addition to family medicine, she also did maternity and you know the hours that come with that. She found she needed more stable hours which better suited her own family.

I don’t blame her. Well, maybe I do blame her a little bit. Kenny Rogers said it best, “you picked a fine time to leave me, Lucille.” Her name wasn’t Lucille, in case you were wondering.  Had this happened 8 years ago, I would have had a great chance to get another family doctor with the simple referral of a friend. I still have friends, but no longer does a referral work. Doctors are not taking new patients.

There is so much I love about out health care system. The monthly premium from BC Med of $69.25. This is fairly affordable. If you fall under a certain income bracket, the monthly premium is reduced and sometime waived (see all the fine print here).  There is no copay. If your child is sick or hurt, you can go to the hospital, clinic or your doctor without worrying about cost.

Yes, there can be long waits to see specialists and I do wish that would change. But the services, ultrasounds, operations and treatments are mostly covered (medicine excluded).  Since Vancouver and parts of the Lower Mainland have become so unaffordable, I think it is hard to attract new doctors (among other reasons).

Yet, while I appreciate the abundance of medical clinics that I can pop into, I don’t like the waits and the lack of continuity.

These words and thoughts are just my simplified version of of our health care system. I like that it is there for everyone.  Is it perfect ?  No, but for a lot of people, it works.

So, Santa if you are listening, please make it more attractive for more doctors to stay and set up shop in Vancouver. I know I’m not the only one who has this in their list.

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