Quebec claims to provide family doctors. Really?
I read with interest the February 14 article headlined "Provincial Government On Track to Reach 2017 Target in Coming Months."
There were 300,000 patients on the waiting list at the end of 2017, and the government now says that "roughly 80% of of Quebecers and West Quebecers have a family doctor."
I have lost my family doctor three times. After my doctor retired in 2004, I spent four years without a doctor, going to walk-in clinics to obtain prescription renewals. Then my optometrist told me about a private doctor, and I was his patient from 2008 until he retired in 2015. I paid more than $200 for an annual check-up and $50 for additional visits.
After being on the list for another two years, I finally heard about a local doctor accepting patients. But I saw her only twice, very briefly, before she sent all her patients a letter saying she would be off for at least six months and we should get back on the list.
So I'm in limbo again.
I tried to access the list at http://gamf.gouv.qc.ca/. The links don't work. And what do seniors and those in rural areas who do not have access to the internet do?
For me, and many seniors, walk-in clinics are not an option. Most require you to go there very early in the morning to obtain a number, then return later for a brief appointment. I'm on seven daily medications, and should have
annual blood tests to verify that the dosages are correct.
The only clinic available in my area (old Gatineau) requires patients to phone after 9:30 pm, then wait to be called the next morning with a message giving them an appointment time. How is someone who has mobility problems, or needs to arrange a ride, handle that process?
We heard last week about a 39-year-old woman who died after visiting four different hospitals. At the Gatineau Hospital, the one closest to me, they claimed they didn't have the proper equipment to treat her. She had the flu, and was coughing up blood. What kind of hospital isn't able to treat that?
We need to demand better health care, which we all pay for in our taxes. Even if you have no taxable income, you are required to pay Quebec's health fees.
Barbara Florio Graham