Resource constrained medicine in Canada

The family doctors in Goose Bay are the ultimate physicians.  They do all the emergency, obstetrics, gyne, even a lot of cardiology and minor surgery. They whip out ultrasound machines from their backpacks to check for ectopic pregnancy.  They do echos and stress tests.  They do colonoscopy.  They do lumps and bumps, derm and rheumatology. 

They can’t get xrays or CTs or ultrasounds on the weekend unless they call in their radiology staff.  You can’t get bloodwork at night unless you call in the lab people.

They make really hard decisions about when to fly someone out for tests.  In Goose Bay, non-Innu and non-Inuit people have to pay their way out of Labrador for their specialist medical appointments in Newfoundland.  This costs about $1000.

Family doctors in Goose Bay also spend 7 days a week in the hospital in one form or another, and are unofficially on call all the time. 

But they are so incredibly smart.

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~ by kcanderson on December 14, 2009.

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