Waiting seems to be part of life. We wait in lines at the market or at the movies. We wait about our acceptance into college. And we wait at the doctor’s office. And we wait and wait.
Sometimes that wait can be an hour or more. Usually there are no emergencies for that waiting. Another a patient may have been late. Due to insurance and Medicare payments, doctors often overbook appointments to cram in as many patients in a day.
These things are common and are a nuisance. These are not life threatening waits.
Here’s a waiting story about our guest Michelle Chaffee. Michelle is a healthcare advocate, helping patients navigate our crazy maze of reaching a doctor. Keep in mind that many of Michelle’s friends are doctors and other healthcare providers.
After being told she had cancer, Michelle has to wait weeks to see an oncologist. Weeks! What goes through her head are things like is this thing growing fast inside of me? Am I dying?
The good news is that Michelle is okay. The waiting for appointments, lab results and even surgery could have killed her. Why do we have to wait so long when the problem is urgent?
The reason Michelle shares with us on Late Night Health is the system is broken. While this is not news, it’s difficult to imagine that someone who is diagnosed with a catastrophic disease is not taken care of quickly.
I know that if, God forbid, I was told I had cancer of the little toe, I would either have treatment within a day or so, I’d chop it off! The waiting, the wondering, the pressure of not knowing would kill me.
The system is designed for the comfort and ease of hospitals, doctors and their staff. We talk about getting the healthcare industry off their butts to do what they are here to do: help people.
Michelle Chaffee is the Founder & CEO älska, a healthcare advocacy group.
air date: 6/17/16