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Image from WikipediaIt 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!

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Subsequent to my posting of last week regarding my application for Canadian Permanent Residence, it is good to see that we are now properly in the system. As reported, the Kickass Canada Girl’s part in the proceedings is done – at least for now. The Citizenship and Immigration Canada Application Status tool shows the following details for me:

application status Good to see that my medical results have also been received – by virtue of their having been extracted from the online system. This means that the CIC will be aware that my medical certificate dates from the end of April this year – and that the clock is thus running!

I will keep my eye on the status pages and report further progress as it occurs.

How exciting!

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Set_differenceThose who have chanced upon these humble marginalia may well have done so in search of information pertaining to (or – mayhap – to elicit shared experience concerning…) applications for Permanent Residency for Canada. Should that be the case then you might also have happened upon this earlier post which documented the problematic process by which I obtained the requisite medical certificate the first time I started an application some two years ago – shortly before the whole exercise had to be aborted for reasons that have been well documented elsewhere in this journal.

Now – as posted only recently – the whole shebang has been kickstarted again and thus far (fingers firmly crossed!) things are going a sight better than they did previously.

What a difference!

On Saturday I went to get a new set of photos of the requisite size and format – as specified by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC). I must have been at the photographers for all of five minutes. The technology is now so sophisticated that the subject’s participation in having his or her picture taken is momentary and almost incidental. Before I knew it I was out of the door, clutching in my hot little hand an envelope containing an acceptably (to my mind – which is a tough ask!) accurate facsimile of my visage!

First thing on Monday morning I posted off the application forms for yet another police certificate. Nothing much had changed regarding this part of the process but then – this was one of the bits that worked properly last time round.

Then – on my way home from the School – I visited once again the CIC designated clinic to submit myself to the required medical examination. The contrast with my previous appointment there could not have been more palpable. Having arrived a little early – nervous of getting trapped in the exodus from the capital – it was immediately clear that this time round my request for an ‘upfront’ medical would present no predicament. The whole process had – in the intervening period – been updated, streamlined and given a fresh veneer of modern technology. I was whisked through the necessary procedures (X-rays – urine samples – blood tests – weights and measures) so quickly that there wasn’t even time for a coffee in the commodious lounge.

The ensuing interview with the doctor was brief and to the point. Having looked me over cursorily he dismissed me in short order:

“You’re fine. Get out!”

Well – I exaggerate slightly – but you get my drift. Not only was I processed in a fraction of the time that it had taken previously, but the clinic further forewent – on this occasion – charging me an extra whack for additional tests. Achieving my sixth decade has clearly not yet had a significantly detrimental effect on my well-being.

Naturally I take all of this as a particularly good omen.

As you would expect of me…

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