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Comment: On the doctor registry, still waiting after four years

I periodically check to ensure we are still on the registry, but we never hear from anyone.
A doctor’s exam room. TIMES COLONIST FILE PHOTO

A commentary by a Saanichton resident.

The recent story of how many of us in British Columbia are ­waiting to find a family ­doctor by being on the provincial ­need-a-doctor registry really rang true for my wife and me.

We moved from the Ocean­side area (Parksville and Qualicum Beach) early in 2020 to be closer to our two daughters and grandkids.

I am now 71 years old and my wife is 70. We gave up our family doctor there.

We immediately put our names on the provincial registry upon our arrival in Greater Victoria for any doctor available in the area.

I periodically check to ensure we are still on the ­registry, but we never hear from ­anyone offering names of ­doctors accepting patients.

It is a very real worry for both my wife and me as we age.

In 2022, my sister and her husband moved from the ­Courtenay area to the ­Edmonton area. They put their names on ­Alberta’s health registry for placement with a family doctor.

Within three weeks they were being offered names of doctors accepting patients and they were given names of doctors who worked in close proximity to where they now live in Edmonton.

They had enough names given that they could research the reviews of these doctors and accept a doctor who lived extremely close but also had good patient reviews.

My wife and I have never been offered even one doctor’s name in the close to four years we have lived in Greater Victoria, and I don’t see much chance of this changing anytime soon.

What is the difference between the Alberta and British Columbia registries?

I see stories of B.C. residents going to Alberta, Washington or Oregon for treatment. I have never heard of anyone coming to B.C. for our health care.

What do we have to do to find a family physician?

I have asked at numerous clinics and have always been told they aren’t accepting patients.

Many of these are listed online as accepting patients — except you find they aren’t when you contact them.

If we are being told that people in B.C. are being given family doctors by the registry, then this just isn’t happening in Greater Victoria to my knowledge.

I don’t know of anyone here who has been contacted by our provincial registry to date.

It feels like Russian Roulette with my wife and my health care and we are slowly running out of empty chambers.

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