There are things that we must do, as proactive care recipients, who have a right to timely care.
In many media stories, they respond to lobbyists who have jumped on the 'broken healthcare' system bandwagon. I can assure you, from the clients I've worked with, that, for the most part, the system works. That is not to say that incidents happen. They do. No question. I do not minimize these incidents, but they can be prevented by paying attention to your situation, and taking a few precautionary measures.
- Write everything down. If you are given a booklet, use it, as it will help you down the road.
- Keep an agenda with names, dates, appointments, maps of and to hospitals and take it with you.
- Take someone with you when you go to appointments.
- Write down three questions beforehand.
- Stay on topic. Respect the practitioners time.
- After a physician or your NP has spoken to you, regurgitate back what it is you understood.
- Use the Internet wisely, access only reputable Canadian sites. Don't confound your issue with myths. Understand that our Canadian physicians can only use accepted treatments.
- If you are referred to a specialist, get their full name. Average wait times in Canada are 17 weeks, depending upon where you live.
- Be proactive. If you are anticipating a specialist appointment, phone them if they haven't phoned you. Don't be overlooked.
- Understand, that if you choose a specific specialist, you can expect to have a longer wait time than if you took another physician. You can weigh your risk over your request for a specific person.
- If your employer is willing, or if you are retired, indicate to Primary Care that in the case of a cancellation, you could be there in a heart beat!
- You can shorten wait times by paying big bucks in the US, but ensure that you are making the right decision. Check into follow-up care or emergency care.