I am an orphan patient – meaning I am in between family doctors. There is a reason why I am an orphan – I felt abandoned by my former doctor and decided I deserved better. So I disconnected and I am looking. The only way you can look for another Dr. is to contact the Ontario Government and get yourself listed with the Health Connect service. You are told that if there are doctors looking for patients in your area that you will be informed and given an opportunity to connect with them.
You are told that if you go out and find a doctor on your own – that you must let the Ontario Govt. know this.
I AM connected to Health Connect. I have not heard from them so I am assuming there are no doctors who wish new patients.
Today I needed to be seen by a doctor at a local walk in clinic. He is a practicing Dr. in this area and has given service through a full time practice for many years – as well as serving the public without doctors at the walk in clinic.
Today he had a few things to tell me. He said he is overwhelmed by the number of patients who are coming to him for their long term needs. He says that it isn’t appropriate for him to be filling my long term prescriptions and others long term prescriptions – and also because he is in a group of doctors (which includes the doctor I disconnected from) and I felt he was really saying that he didn’t want to be helping a patient who had left another doctor in his group.
From that I gather it means…if I disconnect from a partner in his Doctor group therefore I cannot get my medication and health needs at his clinic because of his and my former doctor’s professional connection. The Emergency Dept is the only other recourse and they do not fill long term medications – they only deal with the emergency issue that brought you bleeding and broken to their door. Correct me if I am wrong..
To be fair, I see the doctor’s point of view. He runs a full time practice as well as the walk in clinic. He told me he takes a lot of crap from some very unhappy patients (not me – cause he said I was one of the good gals – a nice lady) He has tried his best to fill the gap of orphan patients but he is coming to the point where he is concerned about how this overwhelming wave of needs is affecting him personally as well as the clinic. He talked about the number of years that this overflow has affected and changed his walk in practice. He told me also – that several staff had quit on him. So there is stress on all levels.
He doesn’t really know me personally….after all he only passes over pieces of paper with his signature on to fill my medication needs on my request. And don’t get me wrong…for that I am very grateful.
I also thought that Walk In Clinics were to fill the needs of patients With or without Doctors of their own – but who were unable to get to their Doctor during business hours.
So now I am feeling abandoned again…I have no one else to go to – and he is talking about pulling the plug on his after hours clinic…because it is causing him stress, and he is concerned about some of the patients who come in – who aren’t as understanding as me. I got the feeling he was nervous about some patients who show up at his clinic. He has way to much on his plate and he is ready to give it up.
He asked his receptionist to give me a list of doctors which he told me were anxious and looking for patients – and to get hold of them and get one to take me on.
There is only one problem with that. No phone number to connect with. I asked the receptionist what number I should call – she said I don’t have a number and shrugged. Luckily the other walk in clinic associated with those doctors was nearby so I went in to ask how to reach said Doctors. …what number to call…for the 36 doctors on this list –
The receptionist looked at me like I had two heads (and remember I went to the clinic because I wasn’t feeling well – so I am already on edge and stressed) She said, ” you have to call Health Connect!”
I walked out of there stunned and wondered – What is Health connect doing? What is our provincial Government doing? Do they know we are being dropped down an ever growing abyss of patients without providers or care? Why is no one is calling me from Health Connect to tell me there are several doctors in my area anxious to find me?
I walked home and the more I think about it, the more angry I get at a system that is blocking patients and doctors from connecting – and leaving us all hanging. I am not impressed at all. I do however have a list of names – so I am hopeful that when I call Health Connect tomorrow – that they will know these doctors are looking for patients.
If they tell me they have nothing to offer me – then you will hear from me again. Why should seniors or anyone for that matter have to fight for their care in a country where we are blessed with so much and so many wish they lived here. Its not all you think it is.
Signed….a disgruntled Citizen and Patient in Ontario