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Old 11-19-2002, 08:20 PM   #1
Join Date: Nov 2002
Posts: 9
Heather-leigh HB User
Post problems changing doctor


When I moved away for two years I came back and had to get a new Doctor, and there was only one available to me. I don't go to the doctor often, mainly just for PAP tests. I don't like the doctor that I have now but I like my gynecologist. So I asked if I could have my PAP test done with him. The Doctor's assistant told me I would have to make an appointment to tell my Doctor why I wanted to see the other Doctor. I feel uncomfortable about this what do you think I should do?

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Old 11-20-2002, 07:33 AM   #2
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: stoughton WI USA
Posts: 4,085
mlgable HB User

You must have an HMO type insurance and this just means you need to see the original doc to get a referral to a non plan provider which is what your GYN doc must be. It is no big deal. You just schedule a short appointment with your doc and go in and ask for a referral to doctor X. Just tell him you had this doc before and would like to see him again and there should be no problem. As for not likeing the doc you are with ..........surely there is more than one doc listed that you can see per your insurance plan so why not ask some of your friends that use the same clinic which doc they use and what they do and don't like about thier docs and consider switching your primary physician when the time to switch comes up.

Old 11-20-2002, 03:33 PM   #3
Join Date: Nov 2002
Posts: 9
Heather-leigh HB User

I am in Canada where things might be different, because we pay the goverment for health care. Right now in my city this is the only Doctor available to me. I think there is a short in Doctors here. I guess I could just ask for a refferal but I think it has to be for a specific need. I don't know but it's frustrating sometimes.

Old 11-25-2002, 08:40 AM   #4
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Join Date: Nov 2002
Posts: 46
LoriMC HB User

Don't you have something in your insurance that states that you have the right to see a gynecologist once a year for your wellness exam without having to get a referral? If your PCP gives you a difficult time there are two options: 1) call your insurance company and let them know about it; or 2), switch to another PCP. Usualy you can make changes to be effective the 1st of the following month. Good luck.

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Old 11-25-2002, 12:08 PM   #5
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Join Date: Dec 2000
Posts: 2,376
auntjudyg HB User


I'm in the US so am not sure of the mechanism involved . . . but do you have to have the current doctors permission to have the pap with the gyno? When it is time for your next pap can't you just go to the gyno?

Old 11-27-2002, 12:45 PM   #6
Join Date: Nov 2002
Posts: 9
Heather-leigh HB User

In Canada we do have to get a refferal to go to a gynecoligist because they are booked for months in advance. I can't change my doctor because he's the only one taking new patients in my city. I'm due for a pap smear ( the doctor sent me a reminder) so I guess I'll have to deal with this Doctor or go without. My friend is stuck with him too and she hates him. The weird thing is he sent me to the Gynecoligist when I asked him if I could change my birth control.
Thanks for your replys!

Old 11-30-2002, 04:15 PM   #7
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Posts: 803
Jaytor HB User

I live in Toronto [Canada] and we're in the middle of a family doctor [GP/FM] shortage here too. Seems too many doctors became specialists and researchers.

Are there any Nurse Practitioners in your area? If yes, they can also give you a referral. You could also try writing your M.P. about [because of the doctor shortage] having to endure a jerk for a doctor.

For non-Canadians:

Canada has socialized medicine which means that everyone is entitled to health care such as free doctor office visits, free acute hospital care, etc. Unless you live in a remote, rural and therefore under-serviced area, this means that you also have your choice of physician. [Most doctors in Canada, just like in the U.S., U.K. and Australia, practice in major urban areas.]

Although medicare is mandated by the Federal government [Ottawa], each province determines its own specific health delivery policy. Hopefully, with the Romanov Report now out, things will change for the better within the next couple of years and health care will become more uniformly accessible, that is, truly 'universal'.

A few days ago the Romanov Report which examined Canada's health care system came back with about 47 specific recommendations. The chief of which was more spending by the Federal and Provincial governments. Unrelated to the report, but related to this issue, is the recent approval of a new medical school and an increase in the number of students being allowed into most of the existing medical schools. [The number of 'places' and therefore of graduating M.D.s is restricted/regulated by the College of Physicians and Surgeons - just like in the U.S., U.K., etc.]

Because of this doctor shortage, some provinces [like Ontario] are looking into fast-tracking certification of foreign doctors [2 years of CDN med schooling versus the current 4 years], and offering incentives to recent med school grads to practice in under-serviced rural areas [like in the show 'Northern Exposure']. Because there has also been an increase in foreign students studying medicine in Canada, there has also been talk about reducing the number of places available to foreign students, or requiring that they spend 5 years practicing medicine in under-serviced [Canadian] areas upon graduation.

Obviously none of the government levels can do any of this alone. They need the College of Physicians and Surgeons, the medical schools and the Canadian public to agree to this.

For U.S. posters:

BTW - your hospitals are actively recruiting our doctors and nurses away. They regularly have job fairs, post ads in newspapers [aside from in the medical journals] and their certification and licensing fast-tracking is literally almost overnight [weeks, not years]. This is not helping our present situation.

If this active recruitment of Canadian doctors by U.S. hospitals keeps going on, perhaps it's a sign that the U.S. health care system is also suffering from a doctor shortage. Maybe it's time for Senator Kennedy to do a similar report [investigation] on U.S. health care policy and delivery. I understand he did a very thorough job when he was involved in the Senate investigation into pharmaceutical manufacturers' practices.

If anyone has read this far, hope you get involved in health policy formulation in your area. It matters!


Old 12-02-2002, 06:43 AM   #8
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Join Date: Dec 2000
Posts: 2,376
auntjudyg HB User

Hi Jay,

Yeah, I'm surprised the recruitment of medical personnel has not become more of an adversarial issue between our countries - NAFTA aside. Our local hospital is regularly recruiting for nurses in Canada - and they are among the best. A niece's husband is a doctor who "defected".

The unfortunate thing is that I don't think most people in the US realize how screwed up the system is until they get really sick (and thus don't have the energy to do anything about it) or are quite old (and don't have the energy . . .). We've become complacent about HMOs thinking that's the only way to keep cost down - or we just plain think there is no other choice.

Does anyone know of any organizations in the US working for reform?

Old 12-03-2002, 02:59 PM   #9
Join Date: Nov 2002
Posts: 9
Heather-leigh HB User

Thank-you Jay for clearing things up. I am young and new to the problems of Canadian medical. I am realizing that some things are not right and that I need to pay more attention to politics to help make an informed decsision . I just moved from Ontario and found that it is quite bad over there as well as on the west coast.

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