What s the big deal with a family doctor anyway? I have been going to the same walk-in clinic for 10 years now. When the doctor I preferred needed to take a leave of absence I was not left orphaned I merely saw other doctors in the practice.
Yes my doctor only makes so many appointments and on specific days of the week, however for emergency appointments I can just show up rarely have I had to wait more than an hour (which some people regularly have to wait when they show up for a scheduled appointment with their family doctor). If my preferred doctor is working when I show up then I always get to see him, otherwise obviously I just take whoever is available. No matter which doctor I see they have access to my complete medical file.
When I do get into see my regular doctor he is quite the chatty guy, I am never rushed. I have had appointments stretch to half an hour for no particular reason. He has no problem if I show up with more than one health problem at a time. Sometimes I even have to remind him that the waiting room was pretty full so we probably shouldn’t be discussing celebrity gossip.
Why is it in multi-doctor practices it is so hard to get an appointment if your doctor is busy that day? Why when one doctor leaves do the other doctors have the option of NOT seeing those patients? If you have an appointment slot available and a patient that wants an appointment, particularly if all their medical files are sitting right there what the heck is the problem? I understand that there is an optimal patient to doctor ratio in a practice but surely if a practice looses a doctor they would try to replace them. I can t see any other business getting rid of clients instead of replacing an employee.
I truly do not understand those who have to turn to the ER, I have never had any problem finding a walk-in clinic in my entire life. Even when visiting my mom in Belleville, ON and my toddler had an accident it was never a question of going to the ER it was merely a question of which walk-in clinics were open at that hour of the night. Maybe there are places without walk-in clinics available but otherwise there is no excuse for abusing ERs.
Walk-in clinics are truly the unsung heroes of our medical system; maybe we should be putting more money into them and more money into educating patients about where they are and what to use them for. Maybe hospitals shouldn’t be afraid of getting sued if a patient comes to the ER and they send them to a walk-in clinic a few blocks away heck give them a cab chit its probably cheaper than wasting ER time.