Monday, January 17, 2011

Shoeless at the doctor

Today we got a chance to try out our new Ohip cards. Middle boy has asthma, and a bad cough that wouldn’t go away. The doctor’s office was due to open at 9:00. It's very cold today and at 8:45 the doors were unlocked and we were able to go inside the warm clinic and wait for them to open.

At 9:00 sharp the clinic opened. There was a receptionist/technician, Sue, who helps the doctor. Sue was wearing a mask, since she had recently had a cold.

As we were new patients she took a few minutes to take our details. She took our OHIP card and swiped it, and that is all that is required for billing. The doctor will be paid automatically on the next billing cycle. Very efficient. Doctor’s practices are quite a bit smaller here because there is no billing staff.

At 9:10 we were taken back to see the doctor. We were asked to remove our shoes to keep the carpet clean. Everyone did, and there were shoe racks, so we walked back in our socks. It makes sense, especially in winter when boots get so muddy, to remove footwear.

Sue put a mask on our son, since we said he had a cough. Now we have both Sue, and middle boy, wearing masks. Another patient waiting in reception was also wearing a mask. They are very much into preventative measures here. Hand sanitizers are in abundance. Every precaution is in place to prevent ‘flu from spreading.

Doctor was very nice, and wanted middle boy to have an x-ray straight away due to excessive wheezing and to rule out pneumonia. He wants him home from school to recuperate and so he does not infect others. He gave us a prescription for an antibiotic, and x-ray. We were seen very quickly and the doctor was attentive. Doctor’s office will call us straight away if x-ray shows pneumonia.

Next we went to an x-ray clinic and were seen straight away. A sign posted just inside asked us to remove our shoes – love it! Staff here was also very pleasant. By 10:00, we were done with the x-ray. In 50 minutes we had seen the doctor, got a prescription, and had an x-ray.

Cost $0.00

In Florida we probably would have refused the x-ray due to cost.

It was nice to be able to afford the doctor’s advice.

PS: School here starts at 9:00. There's no Martin Luther King day here, so today was a school day. At 9:40 the school called us on our cell phone to inform us that our son had not arrived at school and to check with us that we were aware of this. This is done as a safety precaution in case a child goes missing on the way to school.

We always asked the kids' schools in Florida to the call parents if children failed to show at school, but were told it would be too much work, even though there were 3 or 4 people working in the front office. We were concerned that it would be 6 or 7 hours before a parent knew a child was missing. This school in Ontario has only 1 member of staff who runs the front office and is still able to call parents to check on the children.

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