It is really most remiss of me to have jotted nary a peep thus far regarding an issue here in British Columbia of which I was not aware before we arrived in the summer of 2015 (though I feel sure that I had been told!) but which would definitely be of interest to anyone moving here from another part of the world. BC as a whole – and Victoria in particular – currently suffers from an extreme shortage of General Practitioners.
Now – to this point in my life I must admit to having had things pretty easy in this regard. Not only is the UK thankfully well pretty provided for when it comes to GPs, but I was also been fortunate enough over the last three decades or so to have simply signed up with one of the doctors at whichever educational establishment I happened to be employed.
It was thus a rude shock to discover, on arrival in the province last year, that finding a GP in Victoria would be a major operation and that it would undoubtedly take some considerable time to effect. In the end it took me fifteen months and I was lucky in that one of the practices in Sidney, which was recently refurbished, also took on a couple of new doctors. This sort of opening comes but rarely.
Once the practice had let it be known that it was taking on new patients and that applications should be submitted before before an advertised deadline there followed an almost unseemly rush to get on to the list. Applicants were not to be selected on a first-come-first-served basis, the new GPs rather assembling a clientele with an appropriate variety of needs. Fortunately mine are relatively straightforward (comprising as they do in the main a repeat prescription for the medication for the hypertension that I inherited from both parents) making me a pretty good risk and thus the ideal patient.
The only minor fly in the ointment was that the Kickass Canada Girl had suggested that I take out some life insurance here in Canada. It should come as no surprise that insurance companies are as risk-averse here as they are anywhere else in the world. I had no objection to being subjected to further medical examinations, but it did seem that they wanted to cavil at everything. I had to pay several visits to a drop-in clinic, to the Saanichton Hospital laboratory and to an ultrasound lab whilst those in white coats quibbled with the insurers over the sort of test readings at which one’s GP normally just shrugs his (or her) shoulders.
As I have currently been asked to get one reading repeated every three months or so the insurers have gleefully taken the opportunity to kick my application into the long grass.
The Girl is not best pleased!