General — CancerLyfe


Doctor referrals. A hinderance to care or a benefit?

cpramirCare Partner
April 11, 2023 in General

I have a congenital stomach condition as a result of a double infection I had during my care partner experience. It took multiple years, and a lot of extreme suffering, to get diagnosed due to the constant need for a doctor referral to see the specialists and to get the tests I needed. I have found that requiring doctor referrals can be a significant hindrance to patients seeking the care and diagnosis they need. For one, it adds an extra layer of bureaucracy and inconvenience to an already complex and stressful healthcare system. Patients may have to wait weeks or even months to see a specialist, particularly if they are required to obtain a referral first. This can be particularly problematic for individuals with time-sensitive conditions or symptoms that require immediate attention. Additionally, referrals can be difficult to obtain, particularly for individuals who do not have a regular primary care physician or who have limited access to healthcare. This can lead to delays in diagnosis and treatment, as patients may be forced to seek care from providers who are not equipped to address their specific needs. Ultimately, requiring doctor referrals can be a major impediment to timely and effective healthcare, and it is important for policymakers and healthcare providers to consider alternative approaches that prioritize patient access and convenience. What has been your experience, both good and bad, with this process?

1 - 2 of 2 Replies

  • YSarraboPatient

    It can really be a bit much when we're already going through enough as it is. I can say it pays to get close and find your facility's health social worker to help get things moving. Sometimes, we miss out on using services that are out here that can make the bureaucratic stuff go smoother; though the system is the system, they can help if not or at least find ways around certain blockages.

    April 23, 2023
  • cpramirCare Partner

    I completely agree and darn I wish I had thought of that years ago in the heat of the moment! Thank you so much for this sage reply. It is always strange to me that hospitals don't make suggestions like this to their patients. I am blessed to work with a couple excellent social workers who help me to navigate the medical and social systems. Excellent information to share again YSarrabo! :-)

    April 24, 2023
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