Keep Writing Those Letters!

A Naturopathic Patient Sent This Letter to Dr. Margaret MacDiarmid

The following is a copy of a letter sent to the BC Minister of Health on October 19.  When you write to the minister, please remember to copy to BCNA as well.  Thanks!

October 19th, 2012

Dear Hon. Dr. Margaret MacDiarmid, Minister of Health

I wish to urge you to allow naturopathic doctors to access labs. My primary health care provider is a naturopathic doctor. This saves the health care system money because I am able to achieve a higher level of wellness through proactive lifestyle changes.

It frustrates me that my doctor is unable to access BC labs and is limited by the province from access to diagnostic tests — effectively undermining my doctor’s ability to provide care to me.

As a tax payer I am offended by the burden of costs that results from this policy. Each time I require a blood test, I make two unnecessary trips to a medical doctor. First, to have the test ordered; followed by a second appointment to get the test results (most medical doctors’ offices will not provide test results over the phone as they cannot bill for their time unless the patient comes into the office). These tasks could easily be done during my regular visits to my fully-trained naturopathic doctor; a doctor who can write my prescription but who is limited by the province from monitoring the impact of that prescription.

As a patient, I am among the 10 million Canadians* with a thyroid condition. It is standard medical practice to monitor patients with thyroid conditions through routine blood tests. In the past nine years I have had blood tests two to four times a year. Over the past nine years I estimate that I have had 22 blood tests. This has resulted in 44 unnecessary medical doctor visits, billed to government – a considerable unnecessary cost to the health care system. I am just one patient among the many in this province who choose a naturopathic doctor as their primary care provider; the overall savings to the health care system would be tremendous.

Please make good on your government’s promise in the 2008 throne speech and give Naturopathic Doctors full access to BC labs. It makes sense for improving patient care. It makes sense for reducing costs on the health care system. It just makes good sense and good policy.