N.B. man desperate for a family doctor as his neurological symptoms worsen

Click to play video: 'N.B. man with health issues ‘desperate’ for family doctor amid shortage'
N.B. man with health issues ‘desperate’ for family doctor amid shortage
WATCH: A Moncton man with severe health issues says he's desperate for a primary care physician. Patrick Murray joined the wait list for a family doctor in December and has been in and out of hospital numerous times as he waits for a match. With over 74,000 New Brunswickers waiting for a family doctor, his story is just one of many. Suzanne Lapointe reports. – Aug 12, 2022

Military veteran Patrick Murray has been taken to the emergency room so many times over the past year and a half, he has signs up all over his Moncton home with instructions for paramedics.

After hitting his head in a skiing accident 17 months ago, he’s been experiencing worsening neurological symptoms, like trouble reading, difficulty walking and frequent fainting.

He now uses a walker, he’s unable to look at screens and lacks the energy to do many basic tasks like cooking, instead relying on the kindness of neighbours to help him day-to-day.

He joined the growing list of 74,000 New Brunswickers on the primary physician waiting list when he lost his family doctor in December 2021.

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He says the frequent emergency room visits haven’t given him any clarity on his condition.

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“But they don’t investigate (at the hospital), they just monitor you and send you home and my health physically and mentally keep degrading to the point where we’re talking about my funeral and my death now. It’s no longer morbid. It feels like a reality,” he said in an interview on Friday.

While he does see a neurologist and a psychologist, he feels the lack of a central person keeping track of his medical conditions and making referrals is having a detrimental effect on his health.

He also has PTSD and sustained other injuries during his time in the military.

“I think if I had a good family doctor, we’d be able to figure out a solution to try to get the inflammation down in my brain. They have more power, they could work something out where I could be admitted, where I could do tests overnight for sleeping, for hormones like an endocrinologist,” he said.

He is so desperate for care, he would even be willing to relocate to get it.

“If provincial health care can’t take care of me, send me somewhere that can,” he said.

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New Brunswick’s Department of Health did not return Global News’ request for comment on Friday.

Murray said even if a doctor told him his condition was terminal, that would still be preferable to living with the unknown as he does now.

“I’m on this merry-go-round and everything keeps getting dimmer and nobody is investigating anything,” he said.

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