We want the health system to be humanized and improved:
1. More family doctors are required. People should be able to have access to a family doctor within a week and expect that doctor to call them back for follow-ups. Currently people who cannot access a doctor use hospital emergency rooms. These visits are very costly and a waste of money unless warranted.
2. Approval to practice in Quebec should be made automatic for immigrating Medical Doctors holding licenses to practice in any developed country.
3. Since there are private clinics visited by people who can afford them, these visits should be allowed to be covered by private health insurance policies.
4. Examination equipment and procedures such as scanners, MRI’s, colonoscopies, should be made available in such quantity that wait times are reduced to two weeks maximum.
If we stop wasting money by forcing people to go to hospital emergency wards, maybe there will be actual care for people in need of the healthcare system. Solutions have to be found for the people. The status quo is not acceptable. We want real care and not just to be kept waiting for ever, or until we die. .
If you want to share your experience with the Quebec health system, please feel free to email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
See testimonies below:
If you want to have a family doctor, you will be on a waiting list for 6 months to a whole year or even longer. You should consider yourself lucky if you have one. Once you finally have a family doctor, you will only be able to see your doctor once a year for routine check-ups (unless there are circumstances like pregnancy or medical situations which require hands-on follow ups). Otherwise, you will just have to wait until the next year. And, you cannot go to another doctor for a routine check-up because that other doctor will not get paid unless it is an emergency, therefore he will not see you.
In case you are in pain, there are always walk-in clinics but, their phone lines are always busy. If you manage to get through, you are quite lucky. Of course, you can always go to the hospital emergency ward; waiting time there varies between 1 and 14 hours. Or you could make an appointment with your family doctor but the usual waiting time is 3 to 12 months, if he is available. Once you have seen a doctor, there are almost no after treatments or follow ups, unless you initiate them.
Waiting time for an MRI is usually 2 years, unless the doctor thinks you are an emergency case. I heard of people having waited in pain 2 years for a hip replacement, and still have not had it.
People who can afford private doctors will obviously choose that option, yet no private health insurance will reimburse these costs because the government does not allow it.
I have seen mothers leaving the hospital emergency room with their babies because they could no longer suffer the long wait and the babies had to be fed.
Evidently, there is a shortage of doctors but under the Quebec College of Doctors’ rules, the only way you can practice as an immigrant doctor in Quebec is if you take the Canadian MD exams. Other countries’ medical doctor diplomas are not recognised in Canada.
The Quebec Government dictates what doctors can and cannot do, for instance, doctors will not prescribe Scan, MRI or colonoscopy examinations unless there is a real emergency, because doctors are aware of the ridiculous wait times before a patient can undergo such examinations. The Quebec Government seems to purposely restrict the number of equipment for Scan, MRI and colonoscopy examinations. Doctors are therefore limited in how they can diagnose patients and have to make do with regular X-ray examinations, and therefore possibly treat patients with regular pain killers rather than treat the cause of the discomfort.