Orphan patients say they have been recommended to consult privately

Orphan patients say they have been recommended to consult privately

Orphan patients say they have been recommended to consult privately

Cindy Cahill Keighan and Mario Pageau multiplied the means to see a doctor.

Cindy Cahill Keighan and Mario Pageau say they no longer know who to turn to after being on a waiting list to see a family doctor for three years. In the meantime, the couple from Shefford compares their procedures with the Frontline Access Counter (GAP) to the “madhouse of Asterix and Obelix”. Over the past six months, they have made more than 20 unsuccessful attempts there to get a routine medical appointment.

The two orphan patients spent dozens of hours on the phone to reach the GAP, the access desk for orphan clients, or the Rendez-vous santé Québec website. They still don't have a family doctor or medical appointment. A GAP nurse even suggested that they make an appointment privately.

Without issue, they turned to the office of the member for Brome-Missisquoi, Isabelle Charest. In an email to which Radio-Canada had access, a political attaché also suggested that they turn to the private sector to obtain a health check, or to contact the GAP in the event of a medical problem. “We're going in circles,” sighs Cindy Cahill Keighan.

“I shouldn't have to fight like this to get access to a doctor.

—Cindy Cahill Keighan

The minister was unable to grant an interview to Radio-Canada on Friday. By email, however, she emphasizes that we never recommend that a citizen go private. We always support citizens in the system […]. Our government is currently working very hard to increase accessibility to public health care.

In the meantime, Mario has developed urinary problems. The couple still can't get a date.

It's impossible in 2023 to see a family doctor for a minor emergency. I am unable to make an appointment, it cannot be. To me, it just doesn't make sense, laments Cindy Cahill Keighan.

No way for the duo to clog the emergency room or go private for the moment.

“We've paid thousands of dollars in taxes for 30 or 35 years of work. »

—Mario Pageau

This is not a case that should go to the emergency room, then it should not go to the private sector either, adds his spouse.

They made two complaints to the CIUSSS de l'Estrie – CHUS. Over the phone, they were reportedly told to be sorry about the situation, but they still haven't gotten an appointment.

The CIUSSS did not want to comment on this specific case, but confirms by email that it has happened in the past that people may have been referred to private services. The situation has been corrected since January and we are extremely vigilant to prevent it from happening again. Usually, we do not refer to private medical clinics for a health check-up deemed necessary by INESSS algorithms.

The health establishment adds that if the check-up proves to be necessary, the person will be referred to clinical professionals in the territory for the evaluation or the carrying out of the assessments.

I have a hard time imagining that there is not a doctor in Estrie who does not have a half hour to devote to a new patient, I can't believe, it can't be, advances Mario Pageau.

Mario and Cindy miss the days when they could just show up at a walk-in clinic. They no longer know where to turn, waiting for this long-awaited medical appointment, which does not arrive.

With information from Zoé Bellehumeur