The Struggle Of Patients With Chronic Disease In Health Care
The current medical system isn’t equipped to handle many chronic disease conditions effectively, especially with the colossal strain they are experiencing now with our healthcare crisis in Canada. Unfortunately that often means that people with chronic health conditions or undiagnosed health conditions tend to fall through the cracks. Before the pandemic many people with complex chronic illness were already struggling to access care and now the problem has exponentially worsened. Patients and many physicians are saying that they need longer appointments, more inclusive healthcare options, as well as more available treatment options.
Everyday I hear about patients with chronic health conditions who are struggling to get the care they need. My heart sinks a little as they recount their challenges and I do my best not only to help them with their physical ailments, but also make time for the mental & emotional aspects because living with chronic illness can be stressful and often be mentally and emotionally challenging. My goal besides treating the physical symptoms, is for each patient to feel genuinely cared for as well as truly heard and seen. I want them to feel they can ask me any question about their health and that there are no stupid questions. I will always collaborate with my patients and I find many patients have an astute inner wisdom for what they need.
How a Different Approach Can Make All The Difference
I am often helping patients who have complex cases and I want to provide a safe space where people feel like they can discuss their treatment needs and goals without judgment. I strive to help as many patients with chronic health conditions as possible so they don’t struggle or suffer needlessly when it comes to receiving healthcare. It’s not a solution to the entire problem in healthcare as it is something that needs to be looked at systemically, but being open minded and creating a safe space with trust in healthcare can go a long way.
Financially some patients with chronic illness can struggle to be able to afford treatment. For this reason I often will work with some patients using more spaced out appointments over time so they can better afford treatment. We can first get a baseline of where a patient is at and make a plan to try a few treatments and check in 3-4 times in the year. I also supervise naturopathic students in a teaching clinic that offers Naturopathic Medicine at reduced rates so that more people can access this style of healthcare.
I have seen time and time again that patients often have health improvements or quality of life improvements if I am able to take the time to listen to them. Sometimes I find a missing piece to the puzzle when I listen, and often I can see there is more than one aspect to the condition they need treated and then we can tackle it from more than one angle. I feel everyone deserves to get support from a health care provider that has the curiosity and willingness to meet you where you are at, even if they don’t know all the answers.
If this resonates and you would like to work with me check out how to become a patient here.