Re: Prostate patient advocates for his health (Gazette, April 15)
First of all, I would like to congratulate Mr. McElroy on his persistence, leading to success in overcoming a health issue. However, I would like to point out that patients without a family doctor are not the only ones who experience struggles with getting the proper treatment for potential issues.
I am currently waiting to get an appointment for an ultrasound. I visited my doctor March 12 to discuss what could potentially be ovarian cancer.
My boyfriend visited him the same day to discuss the possibility that he had gallstones. He got a call for an ultrasound appointment the next week and had the test within a few days, while I have yet to receive a call for an appointment.
I called my doctor’s office to make sure the requisition had, in fact, been sent, that it hadn’t accidentally been lost in the other things I had to discuss with him that day. I was assured it had and we were just waiting for an appointment to be scheduled.
I was told that ultrasounds are not necessarily appointed in matter of importance, but rather in matter of where on the body the test needs to be performed.
Unfortunately for me, this most likely means I am being grouped with all of the expectant mothers out there, waiting for their xx-week ultrasound.
Whomever is in charge of how these tests are organized, whether it be Christy Clark, ghost of Elvis Presley, or some poor overworked soul, seems to not be taking urgency into account at all.
My point is that not only do those without a family doctor fall victim to faults in the system, but the system has faults which can potentially harm a lot of people. I don’t know much about ovarian cancer, but I know it has a high fatality rate, usually because it is discovered too late to do anything about it. If every ovarian cancer patient has to wait this long for an ultrasound, I understand why that rate is so high.
I’m sure becoming a parent is an exciting time and I understand how ultrasounds help to find early developmental problems and such. But catching ovarian cancer before it’s too late seems like it should be higher on the priority list than Jenny and Johnny finding out whether they’re having a boy or a girl.
I’ve been waiting over a month to get an appointment date set, and who knows how far in the future that test will be once it is scheduled?
I’m well aware of how fast cancer can kill, sometimes in a matter of mere months or even weeks.
My situation, and that of Mr. McElroy, as well as countless others I’m sure, prove that our entire health-care system is in some serious need of a good review and hopefully some efficient changes.