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I started having intermittent lower back pain...

Candice, Maple Ridge, BC

April 16th, 2015


Late last summer (2014) I started having intermittent lower back pain. By December it was daily and unremitting. After seeing my primary care doctor I was sent for an x-ray. This showed an abnormality in the lumbar spine, but the cause was not clear so a CT scan was ordered. I had to wait until April 17th-almost 4 months. In that time the pain became worse and the meds offered became ineffective. The day finally came for my CT scan, but when I arrived at the hospital they had no record of my appointment. I cried all the way home. No-one could give me any answer as to what had happened and now it looks as though I'll have to wait another 4 months to gain access to the test that may-and only may-lead to a resolution of my problem.

I would gladly pay a reasonable user fee to access necessary tests to speed up recovery time. It seems to me that it would be more cost effective for the health system in the long run-I'd be spending less time on doctor visits, medications etc. Not to mention my using a private testing facility would free up space in the public system for those who couldn't afford the private fees. You think millionaires wait for the public system to resolve their medical issues? Or do they just fly off to the clinic of their choice for the care they need? We already have a two tier system-one for the rich and the government run one for the rest of us.


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Phil, Bella Coola, BC wrote 8 years ago

I hear you, but some of the private treatment is not just for the rich.

I live in a remote part of BC and it costs $750.00 return airfare or a 2-day 14 hour drive one way to Vancouver.
Making things happen during one trip is difficult within the public system but the private one ensures I will be able to do what I need.
I am having an MRI done next week along with a consultation. It was booked for the next week after I called.
It will cost about $1800.00. (DIg into my savings).
I have to go this way because it will hopefully get me into the public system for surgery more quickly if I need it.
To wait for 3 months or more just for an MRI could very well mean the difference between me being able to walk or not as I am slowly losing that ability due to damaged nerves.

The private surgery IS for the rich though as it would cost between 11K and 13K to have the procedure done but to be able to at least get an MRI done quickly w/consultation is a big help.
Our Public Healthcare System can mostly cover the surgery cost with the right Plan. That's pretty nice I think.

The big thing is that getting the MRI taken care of quickly allows me to make better informed decision's, as I will have a clearer picture of my situation, and armed with that I can use the public system more expediently...I hope.

One thing I do know of our health system is....YOU MUST be YOUR OWN Advocate for YOUR HEALTH or you will wallow and get lost within the system.

I understand that this all would be nearly impossible for some people as it does cost....but it should help keep the system from bogging down more.

I hope you have found a solution to your issue.

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