Well, I suppose it was inevitable that I’d feel the need to rant about health care in Canada. Again. It seems every time I have to deal with anyone to do with health care in Ontario, it becomes rant worthy. One eventually gets tired of being kicked and will start behaving accordingly because of it. No, I don’t mean by cowering in a corner. I mean by having a very, very public say about it everywhere one can find online.
I don’t think doctors or many health care workers give a damn about social media or blogging, if they even have time for such things. But let me tell you, public opinion is far more PUBLIC these days. It’s pretty hard to ignore negative comments about you online when there are so *many* people all saying the same thing. Heaven forbid you are a health care doctor now carrying around a bad reputation because you treated one too many patients like cattle – pardon me, what I really mean to say is cash cows.
Canadian Health Care Sucks in Ontario
In February this year, I went to the local walk-in clinic for prescription refills. The doctor I saw at that time, a Dr. JGW Bolger, up and decided that he would not refill the Nucynta prescription I had been getting at that specific clinic since 2012 when we moved here. The same prescription and dosage I had been taking since 2011. Dr. Bolger obviously felt I was an abuser looking for a narcotic hand out. At least that is how he treated me. It was certainly how he made me feel. He was definitely looking down his nose from the lofty height of his professional judgement of me to make that executive and final decision.
Dr. Bolger decided to refuse refilling Nucynta (a controlled release opioid that is NOT abused, by the way) simply because he could. He told me so. Yep, he did NOT have to prescribe me pain relieving medication, simply because he didn’t want to. Didn’t feel like it. I could bloody well suffer. Oh well. He’d probably never have to see me again anyway. Why should he care? Care indeed? He most certainly didn’t give a rat’s ass.
My own doctor moved to Calgary in 2012 – and oh boy did she SCREW me good when she left (because she couldn’t stand practicing medicine in the GTA/Ontario anymore). I have had nothing but headache with doctors ever since. Try to find a family physician to take a chronic pain patient *anywhere*, I dare you. Not where I live, oh no. NO one wants to deal with a chronic pain patients here. We’re drug abusers looking for a hand out. Couch potatoes who refuse to work. Less than nobody, beneath the dirt you walk on.
So today I saw another doctor at the wonderful Glazier Medical Center in Oshawa. She couldn’t get out of that examination room fast enough! Dr. Ajantha Sivaharan slapped the print off of my list of prescriptions on the table and pretty much ran out of there while I was still talking. Yep, right after she told me that unless I was a patient of a doctor in that building they would no longer prescribe narcotics of any kind out of the walk-in clinic. Dr. Bolger screwed me on purpose. All for the money, people! You betcha.
Of the four doctors supposedly taking new patients in that building, one of them told me right to my face that she wasn’t taking new patients (Dr. Eugenia Marinova), two more are barely out of graduation, and, along with the fourth, are immigrants from other countries (I believe Dr. Marinova is as well). No offense, but after numerous bad experiences, I would prefer a CANADIAN doctor thank you very much. One that speaks English I can understand, please and thank you. Therefore, I have no choice but to go to the walk in clinic for prescriptions.
Doctor Conglomerates The New Norm?
Doctor conglomerates seem to be sprouting up all over the GTA and perhaps elsewhere too. These are single buildings or “clinics” where all the doctors work with a central booking agency. You call central booking for an appointment. Someone calls you back with an appointment time with a random doctor from their directory. You don’t see the same person every time. Glazier Medical Center seems to let you see the same doctor, or at least have a primary care physician there. But you don’t count in the urgent care clinic unless you are a patient of one of the doctors in that specific building. Dr. Sivaharan told me so today.
Yet another bad experience to add to my ever growing list. Treated like I’m less than dirt. Victimized by “professionals” who just can’t be bothered to take the time to give a damn. Rejected, refused and outright ignored by Canadian Health Care at every turn. Living like an animal because I had to *give up* my career and now can barely afford to make rent, let alone grocery and prescription medications that make me feel somewhat human. Most of the time. And now, DENIED pain medication because I cannot find a real family physician that actually cares about their patients and not how much money they can squeeze out of them.
So no, I don’t give a damn about outing doctors by name, publicly, that treat me like shit. I have no qualms whatsoever about also outing them on social media. Nor do I feel remotely bad about giving them negative reviews on the various “rate this doctor” sites online. I fully believe that until and unless we yowl loud enough about how poorly Canadian Doctors are treating chronic pain and chronically ill patients, not a single thing will be changed.
No, I don’t give a crap about how difficult doctors may or may not have it in Canada. Underpaid, overworked, whatever. I don’t give a crap what their problems are. It does NOT give them the right to treat their patients like crap. If I had the time, energy or means (as if!), I’d freaking sue for negligence. These doctors need to be held accountable for how bad health care has gotten in Canada.
No, Canadian Health Care is NOT better than the USA. We may have the right to health care. We may not have to pay for BASIC health care. But oooh boy, let me tell you, we sure as hell pay for it in how poorly we’re treated. Lucky to get 5 minutes of a doctor’s time before they write your prescription and shove you out the door to make room for the next patient. Yep, that’s 5 minutes for $60+ dollars in their pocket. Cha-ching! Next!
So what happens now? I have 3 months of prescription (but no pain medication) before I have to go through it all again. Woohoo. Yay. Do you feel the excitement? I don’t.