A woman shocked by the waiting time to see a specialist
A woman from Riverview, New Brunswick has written to her MP and Minister of Health, Dorothy Shephard, hoping to have her voice heard on wait times to see specialists.
Linda Lipton hopes to be an advocate for people in a situation similar to her.
Lipton was diagnosed with psoriasis almost 20 years ago and the itching and burning of his skin has recently worsened.
Her family doctor referred her to a dermatologist in Moncton and when she called she said she had been told that unless she had some form of skin cancer, time wait would be four years. She was also told that the wait time is the same for all dermatologists in the province.
“I knew there would be a wait, maybe a year I thought. But four years is quite shocking and unacceptable. At the rate my psoriasis is progressing now, I wonder what I will look like in four years, “, said Lipton.
She must see a specialist to discuss different treatment options and patient support programs, which can be expensive.
Lipton feels like she’s slipped through the cracks of the healthcare system.
“I want to, especially when they say I’m four years old, and the comment made to me by the receptionist at the [doctor’s] office was basically, ‘Well, if you don’t have skin cancer, you’re way down.’ I understand that cancer is a very serious thing, but other health issues should not be discounted,” she said.
Dr. Mark MacMillan, president of the New Brunswick Medical Society, shares Lipton’s frustration and hopes she can see a specialist soon.
“It’s not that someone falls through the cracks, it’s that someone is in a system with long waiting lists that has only been made worse over the past two and a half years. by the cancellations and the issue of dwindling resources available to us. I completely feel for her and have compassion for her concerns,” MacMillan said.
In a statement to CTV News, the Department of Health said it was unable to comment on specific individuals or situations.
“The ministry is working with its health partners, including regional health authorities, to recruit and retain health professionals from multiple disciplines, including specialists,” the statement read.
The statement also said that the Ministry of Health recognizes that the delivery of health care faces immediate challenges, but that these challenges are also encountered in other provinces.
“Regional health authorities can speak to current waiting lists for health services, including those provided by specialists,” the Department of Health said.
Lipton was referred to a dermatologist who is part of Vitalité Health Network. When asked to comment on Lipton’s situation, a spokesperson for Vitality said he was unfortunately too busy to respond.