Diagnostic Process: want to compare my experience to other countries

Posted by iain49 @iain49, Jan 7, 2020

As someone who lives in Canada and is a regular user of Canadian health care, I only know what is considered “normal” up here. By “normal” I mean things like:
1. wait times at emergency rooms and/or premature dismissal from emergency rooms
2. wait-times for MRI’s, CT-scans
3. how long it takes between a diagnosis and one’s ability to consult one-on-one with a specialist
4. how often misdiagnoses happen or, ie; how often blood-tests are misread

I am interested in peoples’ experiences, really to compare them to my own. I live in one of the three largest cities in Canada and:
1. I’ve waited upwards of 16-hours in an emergency room while in pain, several times
2. I’m currently in month-seven of waiting for a desperately needed MRI which I’ve been told could answer all my medical mysteries
3. I’ve been diagnosed with multiple health issues (that took seven months) and am waiting months and months more (could be up to a year) to see two specialists. And so it’s clear, I’m suffering, in pain and my whole life has been put on hold as a result
4. After my most recent blood work-up I was told I didn’t have osteoporosis when the results clearly showed extremely advanced osteoporosis

This is an open-ended discussion. Please, feel free to share your experiences, Canadian, American and all others. I have many more to share as well. Thank you!

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If I was as desperate as you I would fly to Mexico and get an MRI. Not as surgery but just an MRI. They will do it down there. At least that's what I would do. I don't have insurance so if I if something was as important that's what I would do.


I can only speak to what I know about my friends who live in Victoria, British Columbia and the MRI scans they received. One received a scan within two days and her husband had a scan in about a month. The wife who received hers in a couple days was a level one priority patient, I’m not sure how her husband was classified. They also told me that there was a longer wait to see both primary care doctors and specialists in Canada compared to the United States They are duel citizens. Of course that’s only the experience of two people. You mentioned waiting 16 hours in the emergency room, That happens in the United States as well. I was waiting with my mom at the emergency room for 18 hours. I remember there were 12 Friends waiting with one patient and not one would move to allow my mom to lay down, finally she collapsed and was laying on the floor. I strongly believe friends and family should be limited.
Take care,


@jakedduck1 I can't believe the inconsideration of some people to an older person like your mom. That's horrible that happened to her.


@iain49 Your experiences with ERs is not too different from here. Of course they take the most crucial cases first. I have waited up to about 8 hours, maybe even longer, but with other things that were more crucial, I have been taken very promptly.
I have scheduled MRIs and CTs very quickly, that has not been a problem at all.
I have not been a victim of being misdiagnosed, but I did go a very long time before getting a diagnosis. That was not due to the system, it was due to the doctor involved not being a very good diagnostician. I am in southern NH and what I learned from that is never to stay up here if I do not have a diagnosis, but to head down the road to Boston where some of the best medical care in the world is available. I am confident I would not have gone that long without a diagnosis. My symptoms should have made the diagnosis obvious.

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