To the Editor:
The health care crisis in Nova Scotia continues to grow. There is diminished health care! The doctors that we do have are under a lot of strain trying to cope with a health care system in crisis. How many more Nova Scotians are losing their family doctor? I am among the number. Patients are asked to pick up copies of their records, mistakes can be made and you get someone else’s records in with your own. Not good. It almost seems that it would be easier to get an assisted death than a GP (I have had numerous health care workers agree). What are all those who have a chronic illness or are elderly and need regular medical care going to do?
Those with no doctor are forced to go to the ER or a walk-in clinic for care. People who need prescriptions refilled are forced to wait hours in the ERs. Trying to get tests done and then trying to get the results are a challenge. How many times does a person have to request help without getting it, too many times. Persons with chronic conditions and/or are in wheelchairs are further from getting adequate help.
Doctors do not touch patients like they did in the past. When you have a doctor visit it is usually about a 10-15 minute appointment and the doctor will only deal with one problem at a time. There are health problems that are multi-faceted and can affect every organ and system of the body. People are told to make another appointment and then they wait. Trying to get a pelvic exam for a person in a wheelchair with mobility challenges seem to be next to impossible (could this be discrimination?) and breast exams seem to be a thing of the past.
Doctors can only treat what they have been taught and things keep changing. How many doctors are willing to look further for an answer? Look outside the box! So many illnesses have names and symptoms but that is it. In many instances, the answers are out there, doctors just need to be willing to look and also be open to listening to the patient, as many times the patient has taken the opportunity to do their own research and they know their own body best.
We need a solution, not band aids. We need to open up the number of seats available in Nova Scotia to train doctors as well as changing things to allow Nova Scotians who have trained abroad and want to come home. It appears there is a lack of will to not allow more seats to be opened up allowing doctors to be trained and stay in Nova Scotia. The problem will not be solved tomorrow and should have been acted on yesterday.
The one thing I know, too many people will suffer in the process. There must be change.