Health Care

Why Doctors don’t Make House Calls Anymore



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The good old days of having a doctor come to your home are almost gone. I know of a few old timers who still visit elderly patients they have at home, but that's about it. Here's the changing role of Doctors from a Canadian perspective.

Why? The nature of health care is changing, as is the way we work. Doctors are no longer working 9 to 5, but weekends as well. Coupled with that is the rise of 'after hours duty clinics' where you can see an on-call Physician rather than waiting weeks for an appointment with your regular doctor. As a working person, my work hours typically do not conform to my Physicians hours, which usually means if I'm sick I'll see whoevers available at a Clinic.

Doctors are under stress, no longer are they called upon to prescribe mediations, and simple tests, now their paperwork is becoming unbelievable. Government forms for disability requirements, signing forms to appeal to health orgainzations for a medicine that isn't covered under an individuals drug plan, and the growing knowledge that an operation or test a patient needs, cannot be scheduled for years instead of months, are creating stress.

We've developed a society of 'treat 'em and street em'. Our health care resources are overwhelmed and on their knees. I know of many doctors who put up bulletins at their Secretary's desks informing patients of a 15 minute time limit, regardless of ailment.

Finally of course, is the rate of pay for doctors. Here in Canada its controlled by the government. Doctors keep seeing their list of duties grow, but not their pay. All in all you're lucky to even get a family doctor, never mind one that does housecalls, here in Canada. Many of our doctors are choosing to migrate to the US for better pay and less stress.

More about this author: Melissa D. Ing

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