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Service Conundrum, Grey-Bruce Edition

December 10, 2010

What’s it like to require mental health services in my neck of the woods?  Read on!

Fact: There are 3 public psychiatrists in all of Bruce-Grey, a region with a combined area of almost 9,000 square kilometers, and nearly 160,000 inhabitants.  They are affliated with the hospitals, and as such do not provide patient care but arm’s length file supervision.

Fact: If you are fortunate enough to have a General Practitioner (GP) in the region (an avis far rara than you can possibly know), he or she is expected to be your prescribing physician.

With this is mind, consider the following:

1) You have moved, and so have been discharged as a patient by your former supervising shrink.  Consequently, he or she will not be in a position to refill your prescriptions, let alone review them.

2) You have a GP, whom you still see, but to his or her credit, he or she acknowledges that psychiatric prescriptions are beyond his or her area of specialization.  Consequently, he or she will not be in a position to refill your prescriptions, let alone review them.

3) Your only recourse in your new town is to access the Urgent Care Clinic at the main hospital.  Unfortunately, their policy states that if you have a GP, they are not in a position to refill your prescriptions, let alone review them.  Uh-oh!  See note 2, supra!

To a guy resigned to requiring long-term, 1-on-1 close case management and constant med review/adjustment, the kludge of one-time assessments, referrals, brief counseling sessions and so on at best frustrates, at worst negates progress.

Surely we can do better.

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