This last week has been something of an ordeal for me and my partner, and here’s why.
Our family doctor retired. He retired January 1st. Nothing extraordinary, except, the Practise and, the doctor himself, never bothered to inform his patients to the fact he was retiring. That would be us! We never got an email, We never got a phone call. We didn’t even get a good old fashioned letter. Zip. Nil. Nada.
We only found out last Monday because my partner called to get me an appointment with him to renew my prescription. That’s when my partner was told, ‘Oh, Doctor X has retired.’ In a tone inferring my partner was some sort of idiot for not knowing. That’s how often we go to or need a doctor.
My partner then asked to have an appointment with another doctor at the Practise. And, again, was told in a patronizing tone they were not at liberty to assign a new doctor, nor could they take an appointment for me with another doctor. I would have to be assigned a ‘new’ doctor by registering online. The woman then hung up on my partner.
After 20 years of attending this practise, we had been summarily dismissed. At least, that’s what it felt like.
We then went online to figure out just what registering entailed and how on earth I would get an appointment with a doctor. My current prescription and my last set of pills is due to expire at the end of April. Usually, two months is more than enough time to get an appointment with our old doctor, have a check up, and be prescribed a new prescription based on exam results for another year.
We duly registered on the new online website filling out the endless questions, clicked send and … finally arrived at a screen—and told to print out the confirmation—that we would be assigned a new doctor in 479 days from registration.
FOUR HUNDRED AND SEVENTY NINE DAYS!
I could be dead before that happened from a high blood pressure event given at that very moment, said blood pressure was riding high. Sadly, there is nothing we can do, apparently, but hope we’re assigned a new doctor earlier rather than later.
In the meantime, my partner called the Practise, again, and got someone else this time, and asked about the ‘walk-in’ clinic. Yes, we could come to the ‘walk-in’ no problem. The doctor on call would assess me, and at their discretion, could renew my prescription. NOTE: at their discretion!
You would have thought we were jubilant at being able to go to the walk-in. Except, the sick needing to see a doctor, and even using the walk-in (remember what a walk-in is) need to call for an appointment on an automated system.
The system is only open between FOUR A.M. and FOUR THIRTY A.M. (4:00 − 4:30) — for a walk-in clinic!
For three mornings we tried, and we tried, and we tried, but within 2 minutes of calling and going through all the questions, we were told each time, the walk-in was full, and to try again the next day. Finally, my partner got up on Sunday morning and … voilá! We got an appointment for 9:30. I couldn’t have been more happier. We both realised maybe not everyone knows there is a walk-in on a Sunday.
Totally exhausted, we both went, my partner coming as back-up, given my French is not up to discussing medical issues with anyone, let alone a doctor.
Thankfully—and to cut this long story short—the female doctor on call gave me a new prescription. And yes, she scheduled me all my usual yearly tests and told me not to worry, she would get back in contact me after she had all the results in. Which, I’m sure, she’s not supposed to do, but I suspect, having heard of my plight did what good doctors do, by putting her patients first, something I am truly grateful for.
Now, I just have to wait for Health Québec to find me a new doctor. Oh, and btw, they can be anywhere within the city limits.
So, how was your weekend?