(Sherbrooke) Heavily afflicted with Parkinson’s disease and aged 79, Wellie Bilodeau is looking for a new family doctor. The one who treated him for over 25 years in the village of Courcelles where he lives, goes to private practice as of July.
To continue to be a patient of Dr. Richard Hamann, Mr. Bilodeau would cost $ 2,000 per year. Same price for his wife of 73 years who has better health, but which nevertheless need to consult a doctor once occasionally.
“He flushes us there, launches with the wife of Mr. Bilodeau disappointment, Anita Plante Bilodeau. It makes me sad to Wellie, but I do not have that money! Besides, we already pay for health care with our taxes. ”
Dr. Hamann is the only practitioner in Courcelles. He is himself a native of this town of 960 inhabitants in the Granite region, fifty kilometers of Lac-Megantic emergency hospitals, Saint-Georges-de-Beauce and Thetford Mines. There has been practicing medicine for 32 years, in his study of Main Street.
His turn to private, he thinks in five years, discouraged by the administrative requirements of the board of the Quebec health insurance, to which he has to charge his actions every two weeks.
“There are five, my president (Federation of General Practitioners of Quebec) Louis Godin had convinced me to stay, promising me that the billing would be alleviated. But it did not last long, “recalls Dr. Hamann.
This time, nobody will change my mind. He sent his notice of disaffiliation with the RAMQ on 1 June and undertook to inform its customers and to sign contracts that will follow the patient in the private system.
This is the new nomenclature of acts applicable in office, at home, in hospital and CLSC imposed by the RAMQ since June 1 that broke the camel.
“It is a terrible complexity, protests Dr Hamann. It’s been 32 years that I practice medicine when I call the RAMQ today to help even the staff there will find it most. They should go check before answering. Billing, I am no longer able. ”
Politics or medicine?
By imposing a fixed rate for its patients will visits in the year, Dr. Richard Hamann hopes to start “doing good medicine.” See his patients as often as necessary so that they are “on the check,” as he said, even if the – many – depression.
For him, a visit to two years as more generally advocate today the guidelines of the Ministry of Health and Social Services is not enough when you want to preventive medicine.
“How can we detect diseases such as colorectal cancer or diabetes with a visit to two years? But the Ministry is ready to sacrifice annual checkups so we can see more patients for Dr. Barrette (note: Gaétan Barrette, Minister of Health) can look good? It is not medicine that fact, it is politics, according to the needs of the moment, “he complains, predicting that other practitioners will do the same.
Dr. Hamann refuses to say how many patients enrolled in the clinic and how many have agreed to pay to consult in private practice.
When we pointed out to him that many, like Wellie Bilodeau and his wife will be orphaned and will have to register to access to a family doctor Bank (see other article), it replicates that in 32 years of medicine village, there are many, many given and that if he was retiring or if he died, their situation would be the same. Or by opening a private clinic, however, he was able to recruit some patients enrolled in TFFM, he said.
Dr. Hamann did not want to reveal its pricing scheme. It argues, however, that he was anxious to make its services “as accessible as possible,” while creating conditions to exercise this beautiful preventive medicine he advocates.
The children of families registered, for example, are seen for free, and even after the age of 18 if they are still in school.
The annual fee that demand may also be spread over 12 months and are tax deductible.
Although she is concerned for Wellie, Anita Plante-Bilodeau does not want to unduly Dr Hamann for his turn. However concerns whether imitated.
“If it goes well his case, she thought aloud, there are other doctors who will do the same, for sure. And there will be no family doctor for us. We will have to be presented to the emergency when we will need to seek treatment. ”