For the past two-ish years or so, my family and I have been finding it basically impossible to get in to see my family doctor. You have to make an appointment a couple of months in advance.
Some might think, “But wait, you guys have free healthcare!” True, but we really don’t have enough doctors in Canada in general. A Canadian family doctor has on average 1,200 – 1,500 patients they take care of. There are actually some family doctors who are overloaded with almost double that amount of patients. Thankfully I’ve heard that my province is supposed to be getting five more family doctors within the next couple of years, so that will definitely help for the hundreds of families who are currently on the waitlist for a family doctor.
Anyways, the only way to contact our doctor is by phone between 9-11AM, or via email. Unfortunately, we could never get in to see him and the phone lines were always busy with other patients calling, so we contacted one-another via email through his secretary. For us, it seemed as if he was always on vacation or “working out of the office”. There was never a week where he wasn’t gone for a day or something was going on. (He’s also closed on Fridays)
About a week ago, I tried emailing my doctor, but the email bounced back. The error message stated the email address was suspended. Curious. So I tried calling the office. It went to voicemail, but the voicemail was for that Tuesday-Wednesday. It was Thursday, so it seemed the doctor wasn’t even in the office that day at all. My mom and I chocked it up to possibly the office was closed and maybe his email was suspended during his off-time.
Jump to yesterday. My Mom tried to call the doctor’s office to get in for an appointment about her constant migraines. The secretary dropped a bomb. Our family doctor up and QUIT without any notice to anyone, even her. Apparently the doctor had applied for a position at our local hospital without telling anyone, and when he found out he got it, he just left.
Even the secretary mentioned to my mom that she feels bad; that she as his secretary should have realized something was up with his ongoing absences.
BUT, before he left he did actually find us a new family doctor to take his place. So brownie points for that, but it still sucked that a big chunk of his patients still currently don’t know he’s gone. After talking to the secretary, my mom was actually able to get an appointment for today, which completely blew our minds. This is the fastest we’ve been able to get an appointment in years!
We went in to see the new doctor today. She mentioned it’s only been her third day there, but the regular patients of my old doctor have been really understanding and nice to her. She’s very nice and easy to communicate with, so I’m very hopeful this doctor will do a lot better than our previous doctor has been recently.
Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely LOVE my family doctor. He was the one who helped me with my anxiety when I was diagnosed back in high school. He was very understanding whenever we talked in person. I just wish he had communicated with his patients or at least his secretary before quitting on short notice.