The Ministry of Health and Long-term care has been meeting with leadership at Kingston General Hospital (KGH) in hopes of gaining a better understanding of why it’s taking so long for patients to get neurology consultations at the hospital.
“Ensuring the lowest possible wait times for all parts of our health-care system is a key priority, particularly including referrals from general practitioners to specialists,” explained Laura Gallant, a spokesperson for the ministry.
This comes on the heels of a Kingston family physician who went public last week after one of her patients was told they’d have to wait 4.5 years to see a specialist. She took to social media to share her concerns and says she was dumbfounded when she received a referral letter from KGH.
“The longest wait time I had seen previous to that was about two years. Sometimes a little longer than two years but I hadn’t seen anything in this category,” Dr. Joy Hataley said.
Hataley is concerned patients are waiting too long to receive medical treatment.
“Our whole system is about waits, you wait for the next consult your doctor’s waiting for the other doctor’s opinion, then they’re waiting to hear back from the pharmacist when you’re waiting for a test,” said Hataley.
Meanwhile, a Kingston-area family is worried that the long waits are jeopardizing the health of their son.
Curtis Brown, 23, was born with hydrocephalus, a condition in which fluid collects on the brain. He also lives with autism and is epileptic. Over the years he’s been closely monitored by neurologists. But that changed when he turned 18 and was discharged from the Child Development Centre at Kingston’s Hotel Dieu Hospital.
“What happens if all of a sudden the shunt does malfunction and he’s having major issues and he could die.”