(One of) the Trouble(s) with a Public Health Care System

This morning I got a telephone call from the fabulous and compassionate nurse who assists my general practitioner (GP), a family doctor who has a special interest but no specialization (meaning she didn’t complete specific residencies to become a specialist) in prenatal/conception and pediatric care .  My GP is the Miracle Toddler’s family doctor as well and I really like her, even though sometimes we arm wrestle a little.  I mentioned in a previous post that she gave me a referral to the genetics clinic in the hope that a Geneticist would be able to assist me and the LP in getting some HLA matching in order to assess whether we are losing our babies in part because of DNA matches that might be prompting my immune system to flag all embryos containing the LP’s DNA as pathogens worthy of assault and destruction.

The Geneticist has refused to see me (and the LP) or order any more tests.  Why?  Because he does not believe there is any point.  In his view, I have had all of the testing (meaning the RPL panel and karyotype testing) to which I am entitled under our public health care system (which testing my GP had to fight to have them perform for me, despite being on miscarriage #3 at the time and being of advanced maternal age).  The Geneticist believes that there is no further testing required although if I have another miscarriage my doctor can refer me again for reconsideration.  I’ve had 6 miscarriages since the start of 2013.  Is this guy for real?

This (and super long wait times, like the up to two years I’ll be waiting to see an allergist locally) is one of the reasons I am becoming rather resentful of the public health care system by which I am held hostage in my home and native land.  Bleepity bleep bleep bleep!

That being said, it is also not entirely unexpected.  I was anticipating this in some sense.  At least I had the forethought to set in motion access to private (and much more elaborate, meaning really bloody expensive) testing through Braverman Reproductive Immunology.  The HLA matching tests Dr. Braverman does are far more extensive than anything we would get here.  Public health care be damned, this is what loans and lines of credit are for, right?  I am not happy but at this point it barely registers as a blip on the big picture screen.  It is becoming par for the course, it seems.

On another note, I have been trying for the past two days to get information from the finance folks at Braverman Reproductive Immunology.  I’ve left two telephone messages and sent an e-mail and so far no reply despite the assurance I got yesterday that my first call would be returned today.  This is not sitting well with me given the gobs of cash this doctor charges for even looking in his direction.  Harumph!




5 thoughts on “(One of) the Trouble(s) with a Public Health Care System

  1. I feel you. One of my local fertility friends told me yesterday she has to wait 2 months longer for her gender ultrasound as she’s having twins and the 2 hour appointment slots are booked up until then. Are you kidding me? I asked her if she could pay to have it sooner and she said no. That’s the irony of public health care: many of us would pay to get quality, timely care. Hope you hear back from the clinic soon!

  2. I used to do a ton of advocacy work on behalf of Americans who lacked access to the most basic primary health care (and I live in the state which had one horrifying poster-child of the cause, a little boy – whose mother lacked dental insurance – who died as a result of an infection stemming from his abscessed tooth). But wow, did my RPL journey open my eyes to the challenges women with fertility issues face in public health systems. I have had a hard enough time here with my excellent insurance. So many women in my Asherman’s support group have been forced to seek treatment in the US than to wait months for desperately needed hysteroscopies and other diagnostic tests. My heart breaks for the women who have no choice but to navigate the system. I’d be resentful too.

    • Thank you for sharing this. It is such a double-edged sword. Some of my blogging compatriots regale the positives of having public health care – I’ve never paid for my D&Cs for example and even my grief counseling if it’s related to my 8 pregnancy losses and through the publicly funded early pregnancy loss program (which includes infant loss within weeks of birth, stillbirth and second trimester losses, not just losses in early pregnancy despite the confusing name). I’m grateful for that. But to have to wait years (and to force my son to wait years) to see an allergist? Ridiculous and inhumane. And there is a rabid resistance to having any kind of two-tiered system (public with private option) so it’s not going to change any time soon. Having just consented to pay $3000 USD today to get that immune testing in the US (that fee includes protocol design and that portion will be refunded if I don’t need it, meaning no immune issues are identified in the testing), I feel less and less proud to be Canadian and more and more resentful, especially considering the extremely high rate at which I am taxed (in order to pay for all of the people that go to the doctor for every sniffle and bruise, in part, or to get warm when it’s cold outside which is 3/4 of the year in some parts). Sigh…

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