For those with complex medical conditions, and deteriorating health, finding a competent, caring family physician can be daunting, despairing, even dangerous. And whether we’re on Health Care Connect’s wait list due to doctor retirements, relocations, or egregious breaches of trust, we’re already disadvantaged in our search by existing health. It’s why we must update HCC whenever our health becomes more precarious, so they, in turn, can ensure our community’s most challenged receive earlier care based on gravity of medical need. This is how our vulnerable access equitable opportunity for essential healthcare.
But we must also seek primary caregivers ourselves. So, following my worst back re-injury in 15 years, and serious digestive shutdowns (like 2016’s intestinal crisis and massive weight loss), I tried. Struggling to search physician arrivals, a name popped up at a local clinic. A registered HCC patient, my letter described complex needs yet, modest expectations; competency, access and a coach toward achievable wellness, accompanied by a healthy snack. Spotting this physician’s mother’s birthdate online though, her snack was swiftly upgraded.
I wrote; “On (this date) my Mum was baking apple pie in (my birthplace). The wife of a young Air Force soldier, Mum’s pies are unrivalled and I couldn’t resist… coming into this world by 3 p.m.” noting; “she’s hoping to help me birth a new relationship with a family doctor…” Frustratingly, Google flagged a new doctor coming to cover another’s vacation and they couldn’t accept applications – who can? Mum’s pie made, I offered to freeze and return it later, welcoming a new doctor, nevertheless.
Then I was badly injured and couldn’t deliver. It now takes enormous energies to arrange, and rearrange, rides for essential medical appointments, and I’ve learned my injuries were much more serious than prior family GPs ever caught; despite factual history clearly reported.
Having overcome so much I deserved competent care this Century. Didn’t get it. Damage done.
Disabled, and downed by brain injury, I’m incapable of standing in any public healthcare cattle-call to compete for patient applications from newly arriving physicians. My husband, working out of town, days before layoff, left no-one to queue for me, not on short notice. Still, a Quinte Health Care worker tried; a friend who couldn’t wait beyond her lunch-hour as other patients needed care. No, August’s applicants had to be able to withstand three hours upright, in heat, well beyond me… before the brutal blow to my head.
Stairwells clogged and emergency access/egress impeded, endangered all that survival-of-the-fittest patient and/or designate, day. And despite not begrudging any patient in need, this doctor, informed of HCC processes to protect our community’s vulnerable, chose instead to inflict a Darwinian intake struggle, ensuring the healthiest patient roster in town. Worse, by creating impossible to surmount physical barriers, they barred access for Quinte’s neediest citizens; breaching my human rights and those of every other vulnerable patient in this jurisdiction.
Wild West actions must be excoriated, for this doctor excluded us, inflicting harm. If ER is to be my primary care for life, so be it. I won’t stay silent at injustices anymore.
And my pie-in-the-sky? Still frozen should I draw the intended doctor in HCC’s wait list process, my priority increasing with every hit. Until now though, I knew only one famous woman to share my birthday. Discovering l arrived the exact day as this ethical Canadian politician…? Cooler than Miley Cyrus.