When you’re with friends and family do you often hear comments about the health care system? Do you hear people complaining that they only get to see the doctor for 10 minutes, and that the doctor asks that they only discuss one health issue per visit?
I hear that all the time—at meetings, forums, conferences, and, of course, in social situations.
I don’t think it takes an Einstein to figure out that, if you’ve been smoking for 40 years, you will have courted a poor immune system. You may have eaten too much fast food, skimped on veggies, been an exercise-shunning couch potato, and slept much too late at night.
You’re dehydrated. You’re probably overweight, and your doctor has told you you need to take a few (in a manner of speaking) pounds off. And if you’re a guy, chances are you don’t exactly have a six-pack.
SO, you go see the doctor, and want all these issues taken care of. In 10 minutes.
I can see how many people can feel frustrated when they wish to address all their needs in 10 minutes.
I can also see how doctors can feel frustrated when they can’t meet all these needs in 10 minutes.
Our health care system is being stretched thinner and thinner. The population is getting older, and there is a lot more chronic disease than ever before. Much of what is happening to people in their retirement years is happening because of lifestyle habits that have gone on for decades.
We now have a shortage of family doctors. What to do? The BC ministry of Health has put out a trial balloon, which works like this.
One of our doctors here in Richmond has started seeing people in groups.
As many people are in the same boat, our system has decided to try grouping people with the same problems, such as diabetes, in one doctor’s visit. Together, they get more Doctor time than they would if they had seen the doctor individually. The doctor’s happy, because he doesn’t have to repeat core advice 12 times. Patients can then see the doctor for individual issues not covered in the group visit.
The experiment’s too new for statistics right now, but some patients, initially not keen on the group setting, now say they are relieved to see people with the same problems.
Patients can bring a family member or friend along. Everyone agrees to keep everything confidential.
What do you think? Would you join such a group, say, if you had heart disease?
I think it’s one solution. It’s got its merits. It’s better than not having a family doctor.
It’s a good reactive measure, since there are things people need to know.
This said, I’ll ask you: wouldn’t it be better never to have a chronic condition at all? A condition like diabetes, obesity, heart disease, kidney disease, COPD (Lung disease), high blood pressure and cholesterol. All these things are preventable. Many are reversible.
You can find out how from a Health Coach.
Interested? Contact me for details. You have half an hour to get your questions answered. For free. Go ahead, call.
Jacquelyn Johnston M.Ed.
Professional Health Coach and Educator,
Solutions and Support for Optimal Health