Posts Tagged Family Doctor

My problem(s)/concerns with AHS and PCNs

My problems/concerns with AHS and PCNs

How I “continue” to love Alberta Health SERVICESin no way. How I miss Alberta Health CARE!

Finally received “official” word that the specialist I HAD been seeing will not accept me back as a patient as it has been over a year since I needed their services and my GP is NOT ALLOWED to refer me to them! For Crying Out Loud (FCOL). I knew that when I first was referred to them that the office would not communicate with my GPs office (tried to tell my GPs nurses that there was no way I could be accepted as a patient, blah, blah, blah). In typical “Debbie” fashion, I called BS and as I had already booked and had an appointment confirmed I ignored the stupidity of the call. I went at least a dozen times and had a good rapport/trusted the Doctor but was feeling better and felt my Family Physician could manage my chronic condition.

About eight months ago I determined to take a more active approach to my chronic condition in discussion with my GP (of over 20+ years and who I trust explicitly) I tried to call and book an appointment. No answer, I tried several more times, again no call-back’s. (Now, I could be humble and pretend that I don’t leave great Voice Mail’s but that is not true, I leave ALL relevant details INCLUDING in this case that I WAS A PATIENT, my name and numbers at least twice during the call, at the start and at the end of the call.)

During my annual physical (in September), I asked my GP to try. After three months of trying with no response, they have finally concluded that there was never going to be a response and are now trying to get me into another specialist.

Yep, I have to start all over again with a NEW specialist IF my doctor can get me in to see one. Great, just what I want to do is to start at the beginning after ten plus years of this disorder.

So how did I get in to see the specialist in the first place? Hubby#1’s GP referred me. He knew about my condition and that I was trying to find a specialist (my GP could not find another specialist after my original one retired) and knew of a new-ish specialist who was setting up their practice and was taking on new patients.

Here is the kicker, Hubby#1’s doctor is in charge of the Royal Alexandra Hospital Family Clinic, which is a teaching facility. (David’s original doctor has moved on as an Assistant Dean of Medicine at the University of Alberta Hospital, also a teaching hospital.) Thus, these doctors are aware of good and new to the profession specialists . It was David’s first doctor who I really like who referred me to my GP (because I wanted a female GP.) Because of Hubby#1’s health issues and because David is a man (thus negligent in regular annuals and such) I have had a lot of contact with his GPs.

So what is the problem with my GP? She is not part of a Primary Care Network (PCN), she is one of the very few family doctors who still has a private practice in Alberta. Now PCNs were “supposedly” set up to address the very real issue of Albertans not having family doctors. I write supposedly because the insidious side of PCNs (and I assume the “new” Alberta Health Services (AHS) initiative Family Care Clinics) are that for Albertans like me WHO HAVE FAMILY DOCTORS who are not part of a PCN they act as gatekeepers to keep Albertans AWAY from THEIR specialists.

I cannot understand how/why Primary Care Networks HAVE specialists such as the type I am trying to access? This specialty is along the line of Neurologists (which “thankfully” I have a good one who will continue to see me for issues leftover from my last concussion), so nothing to do with PRIMARY CARE.

I have MAJOR issues with professionals (so-called) who do not have the courtesy to respond to phone calls or letters. Moreover, I have MAJOR, MAJOR problems with being denied access to HEALTH CARE I need.

I copied and pasted this from one of the Edmonton PCNs websites tonight, Read it and you will see that they make it very clear that PCN only patients (doctors) can access “their” doctors. (Ignore the missing word/typo, which I have corrected in brackets.)

Access to the PCN’s services is only available (to) the patients of family physicians who are members of the Network.

Wow, so much stinks in this whole situation. When I first went to see the specialist, the booking clerk tried to put the “hard word” on me to get ME to convince my GP to join their PCN. I thought no-freaking way but simply gave no response.

In addition, what about me, you know the PATIENT aka a PERSON or a HUMAN BEING well, I am the one suffering and the one who has NO IDEA if I will ever get to see a doctor in the speciality I require!

Yes, I have problems and concerns with AHS and PCNs and sadly my untenable “options”. Those options are to have David’s GP try to refer me again. Try my “luck” with whomever my GP MAY be able to refer me to, remember she had no luck several years ago. Find a GP within the PCN that the specialist I want to access is part of (NEVER GOING TO HAPPEN) or not take positive and healthy charge of my disorder by not trying to see a specialist.

Yes, I have options…


Leave a Comment