Visiting Urologist Reduces Patient Travel
Urologists noticed patients were cancelling or showing up late for their appointments due to long travel time from 100 Mile House. They decided to send two Urologists to the community and got the Health Society to fund and convinced the Health Authority to also fund this.
As you can appreciate, when we have patients that need to see a specialist, the specialists are not to be found in 100 Mile House and the usual direction for our patients to go is to Kamloops. We had some very creative urologists in Kamloops who discovered they were getting about 20 patients a week from our area and a bit north, about 20 a week. Now that’s quite a journey for a patient, two and half hours there, two and a half hours back, you’ve gotta get a half hour early, takes half an hour to park in Kamloops, you don’t want to be late. It’s a full day, and usually to see a urologist it’s at least two trips. The first one is to just do an assessment and then the second one is usually some kind of procedure if necessary. And these urologists discovered they were getting a number of cancellations, a number of no-shows, and a number of people coming late, which interrupted their flow. What do you do to an elderly patient who arrives half an hour late? Well, you try to accommodate him, they’ve come all this way. But they’re still late. And they came up with the bright idea, why don’t we, the urologists, two of us, come to 100 Mile House. Now think about that just from an environmental perspective, 20 vehicles back and forth or one vehicle. Then the – all the bookings could be made in 100 Mile House and they were game to do this. They felt they could be far more efficient, they wouldn’t be getting no-shows and lates – well, some but not to the degree they were getting. And they wanted to do it. And this became a very tough sell. It was a no-brainer from our standpoint. But to get it through Interior Health was just about impossible. This was too radical, for a specialist to travel to a small community. ‘Oh no, no. That’s not what we do’. Anyway, they were game for it and so Interior Health rejected it a number of times, the idea. First it was too costly. We said, “How much?” “Oh, we’d need at least $100,000.00 to set that up.” So our Health Foundation said, “Okay. $100,000.00, let’s do it.”…Interior Health came – well, they didn’t think we were serious, but we were. We had a cheque ready. They said, “Well, it’s actually going to cost more than that.” How much? “Well at least $150,000.00.” Okay. There it is. And then they came up with some other things like, “Well, we have other problems like we need draperies.” Whatever the hell draperies are. I don’t even know what they are. And it got pretty weak…It was rubber gloves and all that stupid stuff… Whatever it is. Piddly stuff. And then they began to tell us, well, there was really no place within the hospital to accommodate them. We have an operating room that is used, at best, one day a week. Hello. We have space. Don’t you tell us – I don’t care who you are in Interior Health. Don’t you tell us that there’s no space. So we – at that point I was particularly angry because this took several months and we did put up the $150,000.00 eventually – $150,000.00 – and they came here, and it continues to this day as a great success story. The doctors are very happy with what they do and are patients are not inconvenienced to the degree that they used to be. That’s an amazing story.
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