Shortage of doctors hurts the most vulnerable


My husband and I have recently moved to Sooke and now find that we have no family doctor. Luckily, we are in good health.

However, good health is not guaranteed, so we went to register at the clinic. It turns out they are not taking names for a waiting list. The receptionist was friendly, and explained that there were thousands of people in our situation but they had a system. On the day that you want to see a doctor, you go to the clinic in the morning and you will be given an appointment for after 2:30 p.m. No phone calls allowed.

Yes, the receptionist used the word thousands. As names are not taken, there are people who are not even counted.

This arrangement effectively creates a two-tier medical system affording privilege to some. There is great potential for this to cause hardship. What of the single mother with young children? If one of them were sick, what an extra strain it is to get to the clinic twice. What of those who have no reliable transportation?

Or consider those with mobility issues. Getting to the clinic once might be difficult — twice might effectively mean a treatment is denied. I am not a medical doctor, yet it does not take much imagination to see how this scheme hurts the most vulnerable and disadvantaged.

The lack of proper data collection is worrisome. Without actual figures, how can there be effective planning for the future?

Sylvia Bell


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