Friday, October 24, 2008
Canadian Health Care - My Experience . . . .
We've been living here in Vancouver full-time since June and it was time to acquire a personal family doctor. After enquiring of friends and neighbours, we were unsuccessful in gaining access to those recommended due to the fact that they were not accepting new patients. This situation is quite common in many parts of Canada we've been told.
At any rate, I took it upon myself to check our BC Health Care's website for finding physicians in different fields that were accepting new patients. To make this story short, my requirements were fairly simple: The doctor needed to be relatively close to home, and I preferred a recent medical school graduate so he or she would be "up to date" on current medical practises. My search was successful, and I had an initial "meet and greet" a couple of weeks ago. The young physician at that meeting ordered a lab test for cholesterol levels as I had a history of elevated readings.
Today's follow-up appointment was to discuss the lab results and a simple mini-physical. I left the strata at 9:45 for a 10:30 appointment. Taking public transportation, 25 minutes and two transfers later I arrived at the office. The doctor called me into his office at exactly 10:30. We reviewed the results, he issued a prescription for a cholesterol drug, did the mini-physical, discussed other minor aches and pains and I was out of the office feeling quite satisfied with the results and the doctor's professionalism. Another sequence of bus rides back to the 'hood, a stop by the local pharmacy, and I was back home at 11:30. Yup, you read that right. The whole experience including receiving the prescribed medication and transportation took less than two hours. All labs, doctor's visits, consultations were included in our basic BC Health Care plan.
Ask me what I think about Canadian health care.
I'll tell you at this point I am very satisfied.
On another note, our elderly next door neighbour has suffered a stroke since we have been here. The care, extended hospital and rehabilitative therapy facility stays involved have been exemplary. Doctors and health care personnel I met while visiting here were very impressive. No rushing the patient out of the hospital and back home before she was fully recovered - unlike in the US.
The fear-mongering they spew in the US about Canadian health care is total BS . . . .