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Can someone help me re doctors

August 11th, 2005, 02:19 PM
I am completly unhappy with my doctors for a number of reasons I am moving to a nearby village. Anyway i rang the drs there awhile ago and they told me they would take us to ring nearer the time. Today i ring and get told the dr said no as i have a doctor! But i am unhappy with my doctor he has de rostered us as we used the urgent care clinic too often so this means we cant use his after hours service

Do you have patient rights here! Or can Doctors just refuse to see you? Can you change your doctor due to the fact your unhappy you could in the uk!

August 11th, 2005, 02:35 PM
I've never heard of this before. As a matter of fact, a woman in my doctor's office recently told me that she currently has 2 doctors because she recently moved to the area, signed up with our Dr and kept her old Dr in the city as well. Isn't it part of their code that they have to provide care?? Go back to the Dr in the new town you're living in and tell them that you no longer are a patient of the other fellow and ask to be taken on as a new patient in his clinic. I don't see how he can refuse if he's still taking on new patients. Good luck!

August 11th, 2005, 02:39 PM
unfortunately doctors can refuse to take on new patients. Have you considered going to a public health clinic? The doctors there are just as good as private practice drs!

August 11th, 2005, 02:39 PM
I'm not sure who you would contact about that. I do know that when we lived in Fonthill, the area doctor retired and some people had to wait almost a year to have a new doctor. I had kept my original doctor in St. Catharines and just drove the distance to see him as I knew getting a new doctor in Ontario, smaller communities, was no easy task. It's very frustrating I know.

August 11th, 2005, 02:43 PM
Unfortunately, I have not only heard of this, have personal experience with it. My parents live in a small town in southern Ontario. Their doctor moved to Ottawa back in May. He put all patient files with a private company. They are in their 80's and have been unable to find a doctor to accept new patients. They've called them all and are told if it's an emergency to go to emerg, if not, to report to the walk in clinic. My parents are in ill health, but with the shortage, many doctors are not taking new patients. Fortunately, my doctor has agreed to see them, but I live 1 1/2 hours away from them, so it is not convienent at all. Should they need to be hospitalized, they've been told, the doctor on call will attend to them. I can suggest you call the hospitals in your area, and see if they know of any physicians taking new patients. My parents were told to do this, and as I said, no physicians in their area is acceting new patients at the present time.

August 11th, 2005, 02:46 PM
I just remembered something... you can call the info health line and they will give you a list of doctors taking new patients in your area if there are any.

August 11th, 2005, 05:46 PM
thanks guys ill try this

Why is there such a doctor shortage?

August 11th, 2005, 05:50 PM
Shortage? LOL Two of my Drs moved to Ontario to get a better salary... :D I haven't had a GP in at least 5 years. :rolleyes:

The answer to your question, is budget cuts, wasted money, wrongly spent money, money in the wrong hands, etc etc...

August 11th, 2005, 07:04 PM
First of all, go to:

Every doctor in ontario (including specialists) are listed there. Just go to Doctor Search, voila. Just type in what you want, and it find it. You can even search for specialists that you don't have to have a note or anything to see!

Currently there are 1789 family doctors accepting new patients in all of ontario, so it's not that desperate.

That's how I found my last family doc. Unfortunately, she decide to go off and have kids and take a few years off, so I'm in the market for a new doc.

Jackie, in Ontario, the doctor has the right to say he is not accepting anymore patients at any time. Maybe when you called he was, but he got full quick. My family doc was a new graduate. She filled up her entire patient roster in 4 months, and then wasn't accepting new patients anymore.

August 11th, 2005, 07:10 PM
I do not know the speceific siutuaation with your doctor Jackie so cannot comment on that at all.

However, I do know there are millions of Canadians without doctors and while I am biased because this is my profession after all :) it is NOT the fault of the doctors. It is not even the fault of the medical schools or even ocasionally of the prov health dept tho they cold do more to recruit docs!!

In my region, we have 2 medical schools - one in Hfx and one in St. John's. Also, the Univ de Mtn is affiliated with the Univ de Sherbrooke so these are essentially the main ways ppl from NB (where I am from) go to medical school. Dal actually takes about 15% of its 1st yr med students from NB with no formal agreement - there are formal agreements for Residents - and that is another issue again. Memorial does have a formalk accord with the govt of NB to admit 10 students from NB to their school and the figures are changing as I type with Sherbrooke. Now, some who study, go elsewhere - I went to Harvard and someone else from my home town for ex is attending McGill. But each province does recruit from its own jurisdiction so you have to have exceptional marks to get in when no agreement exists.

That said, ALL iof the medical schools in Canada were informed by the FEDERAL govt to lower the number of students they accepted. We went from 96 to 82 in the 80's. The govt's experts (so called) claimed the demographivcs indicated there would be a need for fewer docs.

This coincided with a change in the way doctors live. Younger doctors especially - and I refer to those younger than me because I am (gasp!!) in my 40's - tend to not to want to work long hours and be on call 24/7. It is a different way of thinking. Studies tend to back them up - all that overtimes in not healthy. (But my parents were workaholics and I thought everybody lived like I did, hah). Then there are more women - which is a good thing but many women want more 9-5 jobs. This means they select specalties that help this - and family medicine is not one of those, even tho it is one of the less demanding academically. Also, many younger docs want to live in urban areas where they have access to not just techology and assistance but the civic amenities that means.

Even family medicine specialists (you know have to be Bard certified in Family Medicine to pratice it. Some hospitals overlook this but that's not healthy, literally!) work fewer hrs. For example, I knowe a family doc who has 5,000 patients. The avg doc in Canada tends to have 2-3,000 so that means rural docs are so overwhelmed with work. They have absolutely no choice but to say " I am sorry but I can take no more patients" and docs who do take more patients end up helping no one. They burn out, quit, they have assembly line practices. The fellow I am thinkng of with 5,000 is an exception - he is a great doc and works every week of every yr except when he goes on a cruise for maybe a week each yr. His family has suffered tho and he is divorced.

My own pratice is different bec it is a very specific area and there are only so many pediatric oncology patients in my region - thank God!! There are increasing numbers in some cancers, decreasing in others tho, sighhh! Other specialists are in similar situations. Fewer docs choose family medicine now - aso that is another problem and you canno force ppl to choose to work in an area they do not like.

We are pretty much recruited evey thoird world doctor we can - and I have ethical probs with that bec with the "best and brightest" gone to the US and Canada - who is left to care for the population left behind?

Why you may ask does imatter that the fed govt says to med schools - you have to decrease the no. of students you may admit. Universities and thus medical schools are funded thru the federal fiscal arrangemenets act - the fes fund the provinces and the provinces (with a smaller tax base) fund medical schools. It costs approx $42,000 a yr for taxpayers (this does not include the amt students themselves pay fort the approx $10-12,000 tuition and costs of living, etc) to fund one medical student. That is the cost of the teachers, clinical practice, university costs, etc. So, when the federal govt cut back on transfer payments in the 80's and pretty much mandated smaller claas sizes. we were left wit a doctor shortage.

It will take many years for us to get to where we need to be - we also need to change the laws that allow ppl from other countrries to enter Residency programs so they can become certified - and we need to develop more collaborative approcahes - there is so much more a nurse or nurse pratitioner can do in some cases that does not need the time of a doctor. Diagnosing the flu for example.

That does not solve your particular problem. I cannot recall where you live (Ont?) but you will need to call every doctor and find out who is taking new patients. No doctor HAS to accept patients. In fact, a doctor can actually ask patients to leave his or her pratice. Doctors are paid thru an agreement with the prov govt in the province we work but we are essentially private contractors. That said, political pressure can be brought to bare. I think this is more so the case with family doctors who are scarce in some areas. (esp rural communities). Some specialties are hard hit too - Hfx has too few gastroenterologists.

You need to talk to relatives and find out who their doctor is and whether s/he might take you on as a patient. Many docs now interview patients prior to accepting them. I am not certain what I think ofthat to be honest. If you went to a clinic, it may have been set up by a health authority to help with the doctor shortage in the area. Some doctors work for a clinic but do not have a persobnal practice per se. And some emergency or after hrs clinic are staffed by docs who do not want the hassle of having their own pratice - one needs to hire ppl and pay salaries, set up a pratice, run a biz basicaly with all the probs that entails, cope with contracts etc - and very many docs just can't see doing that. So that may be the case with the doc you saw at the clinic. He may not even have a pratice? (I can't recall - having been writing this what you said now, lol).

But if you want a family doctor, call EVERY doctor in the community or close communities. Contact the health authority and ask them what docs are accepting new patients. And network - that is your best course of action.

Good luck!!

(sorry for the long answer but it is a complex subject, there is no simple explanation)

August 11th, 2005, 07:17 PM
Well, on that note, I think I'm going to go study for the MCAT a little more... :yuck:

August 11th, 2005, 07:26 PM
Re: he has de rostered us as we used the urgent care clinic too often so this means we cant use his after hours service

I went back to read what you wrote and do not quite understand you. (It's been a long day so maybe I am just dense, lol) Am I to get that because you went to an ER or an after hours clinic OTHER than one operated by your family doctor, he derostered you? Does he have an after hours clinic or does he work at one? Does he have his own practice or is he employed by a clinic?

If he is employed by a clinic, he would have a tough time coping with a patient who visits another clinic. Unfortunately, there are some ppl who abuse our system - often drug seekers - and they show up in different clinics. Also, a doctor needs to have someone's health care record available at all times and if he has to contact another clinic to get that, given the number of patients, he may decide he just does not have the time or cannot possibly provide you with good quality care if you are not just seeing him. He could be writing a script for you that interferes with one you rec'd from another clinic and this could cause you medical probs and he would be liable for that. I am not defending him but this is the way of the world here now.

Can I ask why you would go to a clinic not operated by your family doctor?

Where I live, we have a reginal health authority (as in several communities- NOT provincially) and the docs who work at the various clinics can access the health records of the patients in that authority. They may not be able to acces personal physicians' files tho so they act more as an emergency service. When I accept a new patient referred to me by a GP or other doc, I am sent all the records - and I will not accept the patient otherwise. I need as much info as possible. We are currently using IT tho to make this more easily and faster available. If one of my patients goes to a local clinic (operated by the regional health authority), I can access that visit to see what they did for this child and similarly, they can access the child's hospitalization records. HOWEVER, if the family takes the child to a clinic operated by a group of physicians who have opted to run their own clinic, that info is not available. I (or our nurses) tell my patients to try to go to their hospital ER or if near the Children's Hospital, to visit there - with their diagnosis, they will be cared for quickly. If they visit a private after care facility someone set up outside the relm (for lack of a better word) of the regional health authority, I or a nurse or secretary has to take extra time to obtain that info. We have never delisted anyone for doing itr but we ask them not to if it's possible. If their family doc is involved with the clinic, that is another matter entirely - that's OK, I will call him. But it just makes my job so much harder in this world of buraecracy.

Anyway - can you perhaps call the doctor who was your family doctor and explain to him you did not realize how much difficulty your visiting another private clinic caused him and coudl you start over? I think I'd be tempted to so that - if this is what occured. I am still a tad confused.

How long have you had this doctor? Is he new to the area? What do others say about him? And why would you not go to his after hrs clinic?

August 11th, 2005, 07:27 PM
rofl Pupplov!! Good luck on the MCAT! I am sure you'll do fine, It is not as tough as eveyone claims it to be!

August 11th, 2005, 08:00 PM
Thanks CK, it's nice to hear that! They're so soon, and I've put so much time into them, I just can't wait to get them over with :yuck:

August 12th, 2005, 12:28 PM
i am disatisfied with this doctor for a few reasons but no one will tkae you if you have a doctor but i now cant use his after hour clinic as im de rostered

I went to the urgent care clinic with Kean because he would be seen quickly he did his head and we were in stitched and out in an hour!

Malachi did his ankel and we went as it was BAD we have had to go back every 2 days as requested by them and a plastic surgeon who they had to consult.

I have been to the hospital several times all times ive waited at least 8 hours i was just told the urgent care delt with less severe injuries i think malachis ankel needed the hospital if id know it was as bad! I thougth the urgent care center was just somewere you went if you didtn want to sit for hours up the hospital i dont know im english lol

August 12th, 2005, 12:40 PM
That's what I thought, too, Jackie. You go to an after-hours clinic if it's not life-threatening, and leave the ER for people who really need it. When my son needed his stitches, both times :rolleyes: , we went to the clinic first. They made the decision whether or not we're to take up precious space in emerg. Sorry, I just don't understand this any better than you do. :confused:

August 12th, 2005, 12:53 PM

I sent you a pm pls read it :D

August 12th, 2005, 10:22 PM
I think I see Jackie, :) My English is pretty good - in my case, it is my typos that are the bane of others' (and my) existence, lol

Can you not just change family doctors if you are disatisfied with this one? Is it that small a community that another doc would not be understanding enough? I mean, docs and patients sometimes have personality or other probs and other docs will take the patient and/or family.

I can understand your attendence at a smaller clinic. But you said your doc had one - it's not a good one? You prefer the other one? I guess I think setting an ankle fracture (was it a fracture or am I jumping to conclusions?) is pretty basic whereever you are - the wilds of Sumatra, Halifax or Ontario.

Is there a patient representative at your health authority? That might be a step. They usually address issues within hospitals and problems that occured when somoene was an inpatient but if this doc is affiliated with the authority (and presumably if he is not employed by them, he at least has privelages - and he has to apply for those. They are not given immediately. He must fill in paperwork (in triplicate - I am guessing, lol - we do here) and be certified and then the Medical Assoc. of the Authority must accept him and then the Board must make it official. So maybe they might try to help you find anotjer doc if the issue actually is one of problems with him - and if it not just a persoanlity clash or they might look at what's going on.

That said, there is such a shortage of family medicine doctors. The U of Sask a few yrs ago did not have even one applicant to its family med Residency program!!!! And small towns face other challenges in luring docs.

I am not sure I'd want to wait 8 hrs either but we have times like that too. We started a reading program (co sponsored by the CBC called Read to Me) to keep children occupied while waiting esp if it is a minor issue. ER's have triage nurses who have to adhere to the hospital rules of having the most critically ill ppl seen 1st. Hence, anything minor (even tho I am sure it was not minor to you!!) gets relegated to the last level.

Of he has delisted you, are you not now free to seek another family doctor???

Good luck!!

August 13th, 2005, 05:21 AM
thanks i went to the urgent care as my drs clinic doesnt treat wounds that need stitching. my son took the whole skin of his ankel