My Canadian Experience
Doctors - 8th June 2005


Back in Scotland I remember well the problems we were having with a lack of Doctors. Well in Canada and here in Chatham the situation is the same.  Older doctors that are retiring are not being replaced so a surgery with 3000 patients can suddenly find they are without a doctor.  Chatham is doing their best to attract new doctors into the area but I regularly heard that I probably wouldn't get signed up with a local doctor and would need to use one of the walk in clinics.

As a matter of interest today I was reading what Linda Fabiani MSP was saying on this back in Scotland...

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NEW DOCTORS LEAVING SCOTLAND
NEW STATS SHOW FEWER MEDICAL GRADUATES STAYING TO WORK 

A parliamentary answer from Health Minister Andy Kerr has revealed that the number of medical graduates from Scottish universities in 2004 fell by 61 to 727, at the same time as the proportion of graduates from Scottish medical schools taking jobs outside Scotland rose from 9 percent to almost 12 percent. 

Ms Linda Fabiani MSP said:

"With staff shortages in the Scottish NHS at an all time high we need action to increase the number of medical students, but these figures, published today, show that this number has fallen in the past year.  Perhaps more worrying is the decline in the number and proportion of graduates from Scottish medical schools who are choosing to stay and work in Scotland.

We need to not only ensure that the number of trainee doctors increases so that we can combat our long-term problem of staffing within the NHS, but we must work to ensure that a larger number of students who train in Scotland stay in Scotland to work. 

We need action now from the Minister to turn this worsening situation around, and to make sure that patients across the country benefit from a well run and well staffed health service."

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And so you can see that this is not just a Canadian problem.

Talking to some local folk they were telling me that some had been 5 years trying to get signed up and another told me he was 2 years into looking for a doctor.  So clearly this was going to be a problem and here in Canada you need to get a doctor to give you a prescription.  As I am a Type 2 Diabetic it was clearly necessary that I got someone to give me my prescriptions.

While at Port Crewe I had talked with Pat, a local health care worker, and she gave me the address of a local walk in clinic where she thought I'd be able to get my prescriptions. When I was visiting the local tourism office last week I was given a welcome pack and in that there was a list of the local doctors.

In actual fact as I'd been walking some of the streets in Chatham I'd walked past a plaque saying "Doctor McIntyre" and so I checked the list and there she was.  So... I figured nothing ventured nothing gained and as we had the same name I thought perhaps it might make a wee difference and so I phoned the surgery.

I told them I was looking for a doctor and as I was over from Scotland and new to the area I noted that a fellow clan member had a surgery in the area and wondered if there was any chance of being taken on?

Well the receptionist said she'd ask and lo and behold she came back and said if I'd like to present myself at the surgery at 9.30am on Wednesday 8th July I could fill out the papers.  YEAH!

So off I went on Wednesday morning and filled out all the papers.  I thought that would be about it but the doctor wanted to check me over to get a base line on me and so 2 hours later I was having what felt like pints of blood taken out of me and appointments for an ECG and other work done.  I must say Doctor McIntyre was very charming and very professional... just what you'd expect of a McIntyre of course :-)

She told me her family were from New Brunswick and she still had her family home back there. As it happens the surgery is only a four minute walk from the house so couldn't be better placed. And so one more hurdle overcome on my attempts to settle in Canada :-)

My effects from Scotland have also arrived in Canada and just as I was writing this journal entry I got a phone call to say they had arrived in Toronto and that I would be getting an email from them with the customs documents (just arrived).  I just need to print them out and as I am going to Toronto next Tuesday I'll be able to visit the customs folks to get clearance to bring them into Canada.  If they are happy with everything they stamp the forms and I just need to fax that back to the Delivery firm and they will then arrange for delivery to Chatham.  They tell me they like to get them out as quickly as possible so I might even have them by the end of next week and that is truly excellent news :-)  Mind you I'm going to have to do some fast thinking about where to put everything!

I am still looking for Scottish fare to eat and I was rather surprised not to be to find Lunch Tongue or Ox Tongue.  You get lunch tongue in just about any grocery store in Scotland including wee corner stores so I was surprised not to find it.  I also emailed Sobey's to ask if they did a black pudding and it appears they do a black sausage link so the local store are ordering that up for me which should be in by Friday so will look in and see if this is black pudding or something different.

I was also talking to the local chaps here and they gave me another three places to try where they do specialty meats. One is a Dutch grocer and they think they do black pudding so will check that out.  I will be ordering up some black pudding from the Scottish Shop in Toronto as Bill Sommerville, the owner, is also on the board of the Scottish Studies Foundation and so if I place a phone order he can bring it with him on Tuesday to the meeting where I can pick it up.  So.. I'd better head to Canadian Tire to order up a cooler box so it gets back safely :-)

I've ordered up...

Sliced Square Sausage
Haggis
Black Pudding
Pork Pies
Plain Bread
Steak & Kidney Pies
Heinz Salad Cream
Heinz Tomato Soup
Scotch Pies
Butchers Steak Pie
Suet
English bacon
Tattie Scones

and they are going to see if they can get my ox tongue :-)

My house is ready for the outside painting so thought I'd take a couple of pictures of the outside so I can compare it to the finished job which should be complete next week.


Picture on left is John the Painter. He'd been checking out the scaffolding to make sure all was ok for later today when he'll start the painting. On the right is a picture of the house in a nice mist. In actual fact taking the camera from the cool house into the warm outside caused the lens to mist up and as the picture came out rather neat I thought I'd keep it :-)


As you can see there are a lot of trees around the property and pretty tall at that.


This is the tree at the back of the garage


And these are the trees on the Lorne Road side of the House


I also purchased 2 tables and 4 chairs for the porch and as you can see I'm also using one of the tables inside the house until my stuff arrives. Mind you having taken these photos I note that the chair on the right is missing a bit of wood at the front so looks like I'd better check the boxes for the missing piece!


And this picture shows I have acquired a lawn mower and the storm windows have been removed so that the windows can be painted

All the guttering has been removed and new guttering is to go up next Tuesday. It's the new guttering that is covered over so that leaves and snow won't block them. I'm also due to have a steel roof put onto the garage and when that is complete I'll be able to put my car inside :-)

I'm also hoping that the floor chaps will arrive next week so they can complete the stairs and also do the outside doors. 

Once all my stuff arrives I'll be able to put back the internal doors as we left them off to make it easier to get all the furniture in. I'm also in the process of ordering up an Electric Scotland sign to put next to the front door.  I also talked with the local postman and he said he'd appreciate an external letter box as the wee letter box on the door is really a bit too small for anything larger than normal letters.

Here is a copy of the stuff that is arriving from Scotland...


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