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Thread: I'm a bit stressed.

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    Awake. TaraF's Avatar
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    Considering this post includes news/health/rant, I wasn't sure if this would be a "news" topic, a "health" topic or a "general" topic lol so I'm just putting it here and if it needs to be moved by all means feel free to

    So I'm in Ontario and provincially, Andrea Horvath (NDP) made a deal with the Devil Dalton McGuinty (Liberal) and sided with his Provincial budget to avoid triggering an election last month. I, and many, although not wanting an election were prepared to have one if they triggered one by voting against the budget as the budget proved bad for Ontario.

    Well after Horvath votes in favour of the budget McGuinty goes and cuts 100 million from OHIP (Provincial medical for those not in Ontario) something of course was not mentioned in his budget. Surprise. Surprise. How does this impact people in the grand scheme of things? Well McGuinty says it won't, they are minor changes, changes that the people of Ontario won't even notice. When I read that MRI's would be affected I panicked because that's my course of treatment for my brain tumour I had removed, but my next MRI wasn't scheduled until Aug so I didn't panic too badly. Until this week.

    The last 2 weeks I've been dizzy, nauseated, losing my balance and having constant severe headaches around my incision line so I ended up in the ER last Sunday. I was diagnosed with benign positional vertigo but it alarmed the Dr because I had a brain tumour removed 18 months ago and BPV is oftentimes a symptom of a BT. So he suggests calling my Oncologist which I did on Monday who ordered an emergency MRI for this coming Sunday (27). So I asked if there was any charge for the MRI knowing the rules had changed and was informed there were not, great, but when I asked when my follow up would be I was told July 5. What?? I've NEVER waited more than 7 days after an MRI for the results especially if it was an emergency MRI. So today I asked if I heard wrong and maybe it was June 5, nope I heard right.

    I was told that due to changes to the OHIP system my Oncologist has to cut his patient load from dozens he sees a day to just 5, so everyone has to be pushed further out than normal. I was told that if anything serious showed up I'd "probably" be brought in earlier but that's not the point, also what is deemed "serious"? Grrr. I don't know if anyone here has had to deal with waiting for MRI results for what feels like ages but in the cancer community it is referred to as "Scanxiety" and let me tell you it's true. To make someone wait over a month for results of a test that normally were received within days is just wrong! If I had $300 I'd hop the border, get my test tomorrow and results the next day at Buffalo, MRI.

    Aside from me being affected by the cuts, my SIL is also affected. She recently found out that she has traumatic cataracts in both eyes that are progressing very rapidly (she is only 38 and has 4 kids) and what was normally covered 100% she now has to pay $200 per eye. If the budget has only been in effect for a few weeks and I know of 2 people affected by it myself included, how many thousands of people will be as well? I'm battling 3 infections in my body right now and actually when I went to the ER my concern was maybe they morphed into a serious infection which thankfully they hadn't but my Dr won't do any further testing on my head until the MRI results are back which leaves me in pain for the next 6 weeks until I find out about that.
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    Community Helper VeeVee's Avatar
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    It sucks wiating for results, I'd say try not worry but who am I kidding...that never helps and of course you will worry...just try to stay positive and don't suspect the worse. Sending you good thoughts!
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    Trade Mod FallenPixels's Avatar
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    The budget has not been voted on the actual budget changes haven't come into effect yet. The Conservatives have been holding up the legislation ringing bells and filibustering so the budget can't be voted on (and are likely going to keep doing so until they break for summer the end of the first week of June).

    On a side note, the cuts to health care were made public in February, the OMA have just stepped up their campaign against them, so I don't buy the NDP's argument that they didnt know, even the OMA's website say they have been in negotiations for some time over them. The budget clearly states that the healthcare budget is being frozen despite an aging population requiring more care. These specific changes, are not however, part of the budget. The fee schedule for doctors is renegotiated every 4 years (ish depends how long the negotiations take). However, these changes were even more likely when the OMA refused to meet with them, $700million of the 1billion they want is to give cost of living raises to doctors. If regular government workers are not getting raises (last year or this) - why should doctors when patients have to suffer?

    The budget clearly states that the healthcare budget is being frozen despite an aging population requiring more care. These specific changes, are not however, part of the budget. The fee schedule for doctors is renegotiated every 4 years (ish depends how long the negotiations take). However, these changes were even more likely when the OMA refused to meet with them, $700million of the 1billion they want is to give cost of living raises to doctors. If regular government workers are not getting raises (last year or this) - why should doctors when their patients are not getting the access?

    http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/p...ctors-get-paid <-- the Star has a good explanation of the payments and how they are impacted

    The fees for cataract surgery, for example, which once took two hours and now takes as little as 15 minutes, will be reduced by roughly 10 per cent. Fees for eye injections, which used to take two hours and now takes as little as five minutes, will be cut in half. And a range of diagnostic radiology tests — including X-rays, CT scans and ultrasounds — that are all much more efficient than in the past, will be cut by 10 per cent.
    Doctors have been billing at the same rates for these for years while the government pours money into improving them, at some point there has to be some middle ground, if doctors do get the average $350k+ they say (and the OMA don't seem to be disagreeing with this) I have little sympathy for their whining, and doing less procedures makes even less sense if they are on a fee per service payment scheme

    But to your question, yes one of my tests is impacted, I have private insurance, its an unusual disease so I I can see why the testing would be impacted. I will have to pay $100 4x year for it and get $88 back through insurance for each one. For my health, $12 is well worth it. I understand not everyone has private insurance, but some of my tests have never been covered by OHIP so I guess I don't see as much impact - its just one more test to pay for
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    This is the sad truth about Medicare, we also have a $200 fee on our income tax(new) and everyone has to pay whether you have an income or not.

    My take is that people who abuse the system, using amubulances as taxis, ER's as daycare's, doctor's as a social visit, have finally impacted the system enough that it cannot take it anymore. I used to say that the system worked well for those that really are sick but now because of abuse it just can't anymore.

    SO sorry to hear you have had a set back Tara. Maybe you will luck out and there will be a cancellation.
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    Mastermind Natalka's Avatar
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    Aw, sorry to hear you are having troubles again, Tara.
    Yes, like Patty said, hoping there is a cancellation and you can get bumped up sooner (make sure you are on the list) - and maybe with extra urging from your doc, you can get in earlier if it's an emergency.

    Wishing you well!
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    Smart Canuck glowworm2k's Avatar
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    Oh Tara, I'm so sorry to hear that this is happening to you. My Dad had a stroke back in October and had to wait weeks and weeks this spring for a follow-up MRI. Lucky for him, once the scan was done, he found out results in a reasonable amount of time, but the wait to get the scan - I think it was about 6 weeks - plus the wait for the results (another 2 weeks) sure made him and the rest of the family get some serious ants in the pants as we didn't know if Dad's headaches and lack of concentration were the product of stress, a TIA (mini-stroke) or something worse.

    Prayers that everything is okay and that you get the results back sooner rather than later.... I always say that for medical tests, if the news is good, they should just call you at home instead of the nonsense of going and waiting 1h+ for an appointment to hear "you're fine" - that's my 2 cents on the issue.

    Take care of yourself
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    I hope all turns out ok and you are on the mend shortly. A whole lot of people are not happy the the government, even people who work for it. I see strikes in the future... Cuts always hurt the most vulnerable, and I wouldn't be surprised if it hurts me too.
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    Luv Saving People Money MortgageQueen's Avatar
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    TAra. It's terrible and frustrating. I share your anger and empathize with your stress. As you pointed out, with the budget cuts it's only going to get worse. I think we will be seeing private clinics in Canada becoming the norm very soon. The gov't is obviously losing control over the situation.
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    Awake. TaraF's Avatar
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    Fallen, that's what I thought about the budget but when I was in the ER the Dr there is the one that raised concern over a potential tumour and said to contact my Oncologist as I would be able to get an MRI and results quicker with him than if this Dr ordered one because of the changes. The term "changes" didn't click with me at the time and I didn't think anything of it until I spoke with my Oncologists office today who mentioned the OHIP changes. Weird.

    Patty, you have to pay $200 a year towards medical on your income tax each yr? Ontop of taxes? What?! And thank you, I am going to a clinic in the morning to get some antibiotics for what I think is a severe sinus infection happening but for some stupid reason my Drs don't want to do anything until they get MRI results. Grrrr. I get the whole "if it's cancer you don't want to run your immune system down with antibiotics" thing but crossing my fingers it's NOT back and quite frankly I don't want to suffer the next 6 weeks in pain.

    Thanks Natalka, the Vertigo has been crazy and I've never experienced anything like this before. I've been experiencing blood pressure drops to like 75/45 which makes me dizzy, nauseated, I've fallen a few times too, but obviously the concern is what's causing the vertigo. I have taken to walking with my cane that I got post surgery when I'm having those major off days of having massive balance issues, because face planting isn't fun lol

    glowworm, I understand the issue of priority basis but I don't understand how it can be justified to cut back financially on a system that's already strained? And yes, waiting is that ants in the pants kinda deal. I trust your father is doing better though?

    Sunny, thank you, I tend to sleep alot because the headaches are horrible and if I am sleeping I'm not thinking lol I feel horrible living in Ontario where it feels like we are being beaten down Provincially and Federally, we can't seem to catch a break in this province.

    MortgageQueen, I wrote a nice letter to Horvath telling her of the dilemmas I'm seeing with the system and said sadly Canadians are going to be going south of the border for services if it keeps up, now is this the goal? If Canadians will cross the border to pay than why wouldn't they pay here if we introduce it? Who really knows.

    VeeVee, thank you and yes I try not to stress but really how can I not? It's just the "joys" of dealing with disease of any kind, hoping for the best, expecting the worse and waiting for the hammer to fall.
    Last edited by TaraF; Wed, May 23rd, 2012 at 10:43 PM.

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    Canadian Guru DaveP's Avatar
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    Sounds scary Tara, and being left waiting, not knowing, must be torture. I hope all turns out well for you.
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    Luv Saving People Money MortgageQueen's Avatar
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    I hope this doesn't sound really stupid Tara, but I've been told by a few people with Vertigo that acupuncture and reflexology help alot. In fact, you can print off a reflexology chart off the internet and get your hubby to massage all areas that match with your head and throat. . .
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    Trade Mod FallenPixels's Avatar
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    We actually have a similar charge in ON Tara, I forget what its called (I think Ontario health Premium), but they hide it in the Provincial portion of our taxes just for healthcare, if you ever get the exact percentage of your taxes and check it against your deductions, it doesnt match because of these 'premiums' hidden in our taxes
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    Awake. TaraF's Avatar
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    Thank you Dave, I wish I could say "meh another day I'm use to it" but you never get use to the possibility of bad news. I'm sure you could but that's dangerous territory in itself!

    And MQ thank you I will look into that to see if it helps. If it helps it isn't stupid! lol See I'm currently on 2 antibiotics and a cortico-steroid for a sinus infection I've been battling, so my Drs have said if the Vertigo, the pain, etc was caused by a Sinus infection that the Bacterial antibiotic and the Cortico Steroid should have fixed it but it's only gotten worse, hence the panic of something else.

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    Canadian Guru avoncallingu's Avatar
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    Tara - a break - for goodness sake - you sure could use one! I'm sending good thoughts your way so that you can relax and the stress will float away from you. I'm only hoping that you get bumped up the system and can get your info more quickly. I imagine the doctors are very frustrated too! And obviously all those other patients who are needing MRIs are also negatively impacted. Please keep us informed and know that we're thinking about you and hear to listen.
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    Oh, Tara, I'm so sorry you're a victim of our brilliant medical system! Both my DH and I are waiting for test dates for various things, as is our DD (for a surgeon), and it's true, that if nothing comes of all of this soon, I'll get tested in the US!
    I pray you'll get through this sooner than expected and that your results will be positive and manageable...how awful for you, Hon...hugs and love...Lynn
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