I am literally in a state of shock as a result of what I have just uncovered.
Background. I need to have my knee looked at by a orthopedic specialist. Started out seeing my doc back in July. At the time went for Xray and doc ordered MRi which eventually happened in mid September. Then saw my doc next day and he went about requesting appointment with specialist. Been waiting two weeks and no feedback on appointment. This knee is affecting my mobility and quality of life. So I call docs rooms today to find out what is happening only to get told can expect to wait a further 3 weeks at least before appointment and then 3 months after that to see the specialist. So there is the first shock. So I asked if I could speak to my doc to discuss a new strategy. He will call me back, if not must make an appointment to see him.
Ok so that's not even the shocking part.
I got to go digging on the health ministry website, thinking like a business man I though mmmm I guess my case don't have the right $$$ attached to it so the specialist is "triaging" the case based on income.
Well wrong. The shocker is I am amazed we have any doctors at all. The general perception is these guys are the cause of our high cost of healthcare again WRONG. They get paid peanuts from my understanding of the schedule of benefits for doctors in Ontario.
If I ended up having an arthroscopy the surgeon would get $97.50 for the setup and $192.00 if he happened to remove a couple of bits of loose pieces in the joint.
The initial consultation would get him $83.10 and a follow up visit would get him $51.70.
How on earth can you expect a guy that's capable of this kind of skill and knowledge to stick around after education if he gets paid peanuts.
A service of less complexity by a mechanic at a car dealership costs more....I have yet to leave a dealership with anything under $750 as the bill unless it was just an oil change.
I have never dug into this issue like I have now, I downloaded the schedule of benefits that is open for all to see and its scared the wits out of me. No wonder the wait is so long. No wonder our emergency rooms are crowded. No wonder when I was having my shoulder treated after dislocating it, the doc spent a total of less than 5 minutes with me he cannot afford to get into discussion and give you time of day at these rates.
And the never ending flow of bulletins from the gov means he needs at least three permanent and able bodied administrative types with accounting background to be able to file his claims and deal with the never ending change in rules and fees.
Its scary stuff when one gets past basic need for a prescription. Pity the poor frail and aged in a home for a GP to make a call on a home he gets less than $50.
As a further example not that I need one, cataract operation nets a ophthalmologist a mere $397.75.
Of course nobody I have spoken to in my circle or in business is aware of these rates or the bigger picture implications they just happy they aint paying, but they are just indirectly.
I am quiet in shock and wrote to the minister of health but that's like writing to the fox that guards the hen house.
The real money is being spent in the bureaucracy and by the bureaucracy on managing it and man in the street thinks its the doctors getting rich. I am amazed they have not all gone elsewhere given the investment they made in time and money on their education.
Its not that I did not know the system was like this I just did not know the facts about what they get paid and now I can see the implications on the wait times.
In addition were I a doc faced with these "Rules" I would play the game of selecting and issuing appointments based on which case would net me the biggest return and pad the rest of my time with the lesser income cases when and if I have the time available. That would explain my case.
Now I have to plan my next chess move....in the game to get my knee fixed. So much for being active.