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Canadian Healthcare System Abandons Injured Patient

Marc, Burnaby, BC

April 14th, 2015


I unfortunately got very painful and somewhat crippling calcific tendonitis in both shoulders in late July 2013. I needed to eventually get an MRI and a consultation with an orthopaedic surgeon, just to see if there were no broken or torn tendons and muscles and the like.

I originally wanted to do this through MSP, which turned out to be an insanely arduous and inefficient slog. From the time that my GP put my referral through to see an orthopaedic surgeon in September 2013, it took almost a year (summer of 2014) for me to get word from the orthopaedic surgeon’s office that I didn’t even qualify to see an orthopaedic surgeon because of my relatively young age (I was 32, then). Instead, MSP wanted to refer me to a sports medicine doctor, who wasn’t anywhere near as qualified as an orthopaedic surgeon.

On the issue of the MRI, wait lists were cruelly and similarly long (about a year).

So what I did instead was to pay for both the orthopaedic surgeon consult and the MRI out of my pocket by going to the False Creek Health Care Centre near Cambie. I was able to get in within couple of weeks for both, after I decided in March of 2014 that I wanted answers quickly. The info I got from seeing a private orthopaedic surgeon and MRI was invaluable. Luckily, they showed that I had no tears/breaks in my tendons and muscles, which helped me to make intelligent and correct choices with regard to my continued treatment with my physic and chiropractor.

The point here is that I had to pay a lot of money out of my pocket because MSP let me down because the wait lists for an orthopaedic surgeon and MRI are unjustly long. Had I not paid out of my pocket, I would’ve languished for a year without being given the right information I needed to get the right treatment I needed for proper rehab of my shoulder injuries. Then, I wouldn’t have even been allowed to see an orthopaedic surgeon because I was told by my GP that orthopaedic surgeons through MSP put priority on older (65 and up) people with similar shoulder problems to mine. Blatantly, that sounds like rationing!! What else could it be?!

It’s also offensive that things like physio and chiro visits, which I’ve needed very frequently in almost two years, aren’t covered by MSP because there’s not enough money that people pay into MSP…even though we pay into MSP each month.

Further, if there would be MORE private clinics and the like allowed in B.C., that competition would’ve meant that I wouldn’t have paid $550 out of my pocket to see my orthopaedic surgeon and about $2000 for my MRI, too.




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