Who is to blame?
Letter to the Editor
Like most others, my time is valuable. There never seems to be enough of it. Therefore, there must have been a good reason as to why I found myself waiting for four hours in the ER sitting room on one of my only days off.
There is in fact, a very good reason as to why. What should have been a simple referral for a seemingly simple medical procedure turned into what is now a six-month game of telephone, referrals and no response between myself and numerous people who work in the health care field in the City of Cranbrook.
It all starts with not being able to find a general practitioner (GP) accepting patients. Therefore, I was already at a disadvantage trying to sort my procedure out and thus became proactive in August (two months before I knew I needed it done) to get an appointment set up. This led me to get a hold of a doctor in the clinic where I had previously had a family GP.
However, much to my disappointment, this doctor could only send a referral to the specialist who needed to complete this procedure. The referral was sent in October. After that I was also told to keep phoning the office of the specialist to see if they had received it. I left many messages and had no response.
From October to December, the only positive news I heard was from the GP who said that I should get a phone call by the end of January. January passes and I hear nothing. Still no response which once again caused me to start phoning both offices to see what was happening.
I was then told from the GP’s office that my procedure would be pushed back again for another few months with no estimated timeline. This whole scenario explained above is the exact reason why I showed up in the emergency room to hopefully be looked after. I don’t have a GP and the specialists offices are not responding. My medical issue needs to be dealt with as it should have been done in October.
To my absolute dismay, the ER visit got me no closer to having this procedure completed (we are going on six months of waiting now). The ER triage nurse was rude and made me feel guilty for being there for something that wasn’t life threatening, and the doctor was unfortunately not helpful as I was told they would only be able to refer me again. Do they not have specialists on call?
So, who can I blame? Do I blame the ER doctor for not being helpful, or the ER nurse for not being empathetic to a medical situation? Do I blame the receptionists of the offices that I have tried to call with no response? Do I blame the GP who helped me out even though I wasn’t his patient?
There are many people I have been in contact with, but I do not believe that accusing all these people will rectify anything. But still nothing is being done and I wait.
Unfortunately, I believe that my situation is not uncommon, and we have huge issue with people not getting proper medical care. A simple procedure should not take this long and cause this much stress.
We need more GPs, Specialists, a walk-in clinic or even something that I have not thought of.
Therefore, I am writing this as a call for action to notify whoever is responsible for the medical community in this town that they need to do a better job.