Monday, March 19, 2018

#MicroblogMondays: Lucky

Dh & I had our annual physicals with our family doctor today. Everything went well, and I was reminded just how lucky we are. 

First, we're both extremely lucky that we enjoy relatively good health (particularly since we're both now firmly into middle age -- and even seniors, by some definitions...!).

Second, we're very lucky that -- after our beloved family doctor of 29 years retired in 2014 -- we were able to find a new family doctor/practice quickly. Unfortunately, the new doctor left the clinic after just 9 months (!) -- but they quickly hired a replacement for him and asked if we'd like to sign on as patients with him. (Yes, please!) 

Turns out we like this guy even better. ;)  (Yes, we're lucky!) He's young, up-to-date, and has a great bedside manner -- spends most of each visit simply talking with us and encouraging us to tell him about our aches & pains, no matter how trivial they might seem. The catch being that the clinic where he works is just a five-minute drive... from our old house, on the other side of the city. It's now a 30-40 minute drive to see him from our current location -- but we think it's worth it. ;)  We decided to stay with him after we moved, mainly because we like him so much, but also because we know how lucky we are that we were able to find a new family doctor quite quickly after our old one retired.  We hear all the time about how there's a shortage of family doctors, in both urban and rural areas of Canada.

We're lucky that our doctor works out of a modern, well-run clinic that uses all the latest technology. We have rarely had to wait past the appointed time to see our doctor. If we need to see him on short notice and he is off that day, or fully booked, we can see one of the other doctors, if they have an opening. There is also a physician's assistant on staff -- a relatively new position in Canadian medical circles -- who can see and treat patients with uncomplicated concerns, such as colds, fevers, sprains and skin rashes. 

And we are so, so lucky that all we have to do is hand over our provincial health cards to see the doctor and receive treatment. No one has ever asked us how we plan to pay, because just about everything is covered through our government healthcare plan. It is not a perfect system, but I would not trade it for anything -- and I wish my American friends & relatives were as lucky as I am in this respect. 

You can find more of this week's #MicroblogMondays posts here


  1. How wonderful that you both feel pretty good in your bodies. That's not something to take for granted (and you are clearly expressing gratitude for it).

  2. A good doctor is worth his/her weight in gold! Or a really long commute... :) Sounds like you found a great one. Taking the time to listen is so important. And yes, I envy your healthcare! Although as a teacher, my healthcare is pretty durn good in the states. For now.

  3. Good health is worth its weight in gold. You are very lucky. So is a good Dr. We have to pay for our GP visits, though some people get assistance, and children under 12 or 15 (I'm not sure - why would I be? lol) get free visits. So we're not quite as lucky as Canadians!

  4. I won't say dh & I are poster children for good health -- we both have prescriptions -- me for thyroid & blood pressure, he for blood pressure & digestion issues -- we could both stand to lose weight & get out of couch potato mode more often -- etc. etc. -- but in the grand scheme of things, we really don't have much to complain about. ;) I know a lot of people our age who have it much worse...!

    1. Oops, I made a mistake -- like me dh takes thyroid meds. He currently has no blood pressure issues.

  5. That's good to hear. I wish I could have your luck. In the Philippines, you need to shed a lot of money for a good doctor's care.

  6. Please do not wish your health care system on those of us in the U.S. As a cancer survivor who corresponded online with others going through treatment when I was going through mine, including many Canadians, I realize how fortunate I am to live in a country where we have the best doctors and hospitals, and I never had to wait more than a couple hours to get a CT scan, while my Canadian counterparts waited months. When doctors stop earning what they do because of government controlled salaries, we won't have the same quality of care. But I understand where you are coming from - my friends who have had the benefit of good health also do not understand the frightening aspects of government health care either.

    I do not have an account to send this under, so I will publish anonymously. -- Emily

  7. Hi Emily -- I did not mean to start a debate here on our countries' respective health care systems. There are obviously areas for improvement (on both sides of the border). Overall, though, the system here works pretty well for most people, and most people here would not trade. Thanks for your thoughts.

  8. I'm in the US, and, unlike the commenter above, totally envy your health system. I pay tons of money for health insurance.

    However, despite the fact that I have a serious chronic health condition, I am seldom able to actually see the doctor.

    For example, recently, I was having a severe flare up that left me unable to work. I called my doctor, who said that she'd refer me to a specialist. A week later, I had a referral.

    I called the specialist, whose secretary said the specialist would be happy to see me at her next available appointment .... in August (nearly six months away)

    When I told her how serious my situation was, she said she was sorry and suggested I go to the emergency room.

    When I pointed out that my insurance wouldn't cover that and I would owe thousands of dollars, she said that the insurance aspect wasn't her job and cheerfully said "see you in August!"

    So, yeah, I wish I lived in Canada

    1. I am sorry you've had trouble getting in to see a specialist. I hear stories about waits to see specialists here too, but I think a lot depends on the kind of specialist, where you live and how serious your case is. I've had to see specialists for a few different things as an adult, but nothing serious and even though I wouldn't be considered a priority patient, the waits have generally not been that long. I think I had to wait about six weeks to see the allergist my family dr referred me to, and dh once had to wait four months to see a specialist (again, nothing hugely serious, but something the dr thought he should get checked out)... the guy he was referred to was well over 80 years old (!!) & only saw patients a few days a month (hence the wait) -- but he was the head of the program at the hospital, and clearly knew his stuff. I went with dh to the appointment & we both hugely enjoyed him -- he was worth the wait, lol. ;) And all was well in the end. :) Never had to pay a cent, and no worrying about whether they were "in network" or anything like that.

      As for emergency rooms, you might have to wait several hours to see a doctor, depending on how serious your situation is, and if you need an ambulance to take you there, you will have to pay for that, although some workplace benefits program will pay at least part of the cost.