Waiting for Care

One of the objections that conservatives often raise when asked to consider health care in other countries is the perceived waiting period.  My foreign friends (in Canada, Denmark, Great Britain and Czech Republic), however, have disputed the commonly held American perception that health care in other countries involves long waiting lines.  My own experience in the US suggests that we have nothing to gloat about.

I have repeatedly had a difficult time getting through to my primary care doctor.  Their phones are turned off during the lunch hour and during their frequent office meetings.  The very least that I should expect, I believe, from my health care providers, is the ability to talk to someone on the phone during office hours….or at least leave a message.

In July, I was having trouble swallowing….a recurring problem since my partial gastrectomy last October.  I was told that my doctor was going on vacation in August…the earliest that I could be seen would be in six weeks.  Six weeks without swallowing….for a woman who swims in her size 0 jeans!  No one was covering his practice.

Last night I had another seizure.  I called my neurologist first thing this morning and found out that he was out of the office and his medical assistant didn’t know when he would be back.  His physician’s assistant is on vacation this week and no one is covering his practice.  I suffered another grand mal seizure last night but was unable to talk to a doctor.

“Change doctors” some have suggested.  I have…my insurance plan allows me that luxury.  I see some of the top specialists in our area and yet, my access to medical care is not offered in a timely manner.  I have been asked to wait six weeks for a procedure that will allow me to swallow!  My friends in Europe and in Canada would be appauled at that!

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