I have a chronic disease – ulcerative colitis. Due to my health issues I come into contact with the medical system quite frequently. I am one of the lucky ones in that I have a GP who manages my care very well. I know that I am one of the lucky ones.
I also come into contact with a lot of specialists. I have seen a dermatologist, an endocrinologist, an allergy specialist and a couple of gastroenterologists. I saw one who was an unmitigated disaster and a second one who was awesome. My second gastro doc was Dr. Hanna Binder who was killed, tragically, in a head on collision over the summer. She was an amazing woman who cared deeply about her patients. The nurses in the hospital, where I first saw her, raved about her.
I have now been referred to a new gastro doc – Dr. Atkinson. I have an appointment in about 2 weeks. Yesterday his office called and advised me that he was now seeing patients in Maple Ridge as well as New West. The secretary remembered that I lived in MR and called me to see if I wanted to see him there instead. My appointment ended up being moved up a week and at a much more convenient location for me. I was very impressed by this level of service, particularly from a specialists office. I have heard good things about this doctor so I am looking forward to seeing him. I hope he has some answers for me. I really hope I do not have to another colonoscopy!! The test itself is not so bad it is the prep!
For all the complaints about our health care system, I have to say that for it has worked very well. I may be an anomaly in that I do have a chronic disease. However, I have never waited more than a couple of months to see a specialist. In an emergency, it has been very quick. I compare this to my mother’s and sister’s experience in Calgary where 8-12 hour ER wait times are the norm. Seeing a specialist is very difficult. After my mother’s emergency surgery, which she had in BC, she was very grateful that she was in BC when she needed urgent medical care. My mother rarely has anything good to say about BC. Her comments indicate the severity of the situation in Alberta.