Healthcare: To Pay Or Not To Pay?

That is the question...or maybe it's just a matter of choice.

It's a fact that as Canadian citizens we enjoy the privilege of government funded heath care. In reality, Londoners are well aware of the shortcomings in the health care system. We have to deal with the long standing doctor shortage, the patient/doctor waiting lists and endure the crowded clinics, not to mention the long wait times for visits to specialists or surgery. We certainly know the second meaning of the word patient. Up to 30,000 Londoners do not have a family doctor. These patients seeking medical attention need to play "catch as catch can" in the system, relying mostly on drop-in clinics to pick up the slack. Londoners need to be made aware of a new hybrid of public/private health care available here in London. Medpoint Health Care Centre has recently opened it's doors in Galleria London.As soon as I entered the centre's reception area I realized this was not like any medical establishment I'd ever seen before. The Medpoint atmosphere is a far cry from the typical doctor's office, medical clinic or hospital setting. The health center is decorated with serene spa inspired decor and soothing jazz music plays to help the clients relax. President Alex Hanham mentions that "it's all designed to minimize the white coat syndrome". He jokes that his job is to keep the Perrier stocked.Medpoint offers both OHIP covered public service and private pay services. If you need OHIP covered service, there is a walk-in style clinic available where they offer physicals and more OHIP covered tests and services than the regular clinics.MedPoint also offers a Comprehensive Annual Health Assessment (CAHA)for a $400. fee. This executive style health assessment is available to individuals and businesses. It's geared at clients who aim to have a proactive approach to health. Hanham points out that knowledge is power .Another factor Hanham wants to stress is Medpoint's efficiency. He mentions that patients can become frustrated with the health care system, waiting times, travel, etc. In one appointment a client can get up to 80 tests, including vision, hearing, lung function, electrocardiogram, fitness and nutrition evaluations, just to name a few. As a Medpoint client, I was given my first opportunity to have a bone density screening test. During the follow up visit clients will receive a copy of their Medpoint CAHA Results Report. The physician will also give the client recommendations for risk factor management, lifestyle changes and medical treatment options where necessary.In essence, Medpoint offers a combination of screening, follow up, feedback, referrals and ongoing care. From a woman's perspective I appreciate that Dr. Sylvia Murchison is an expert in women's health issues and designed the CAHA to address female concerns. The MedPoint atmosphere was designed with comfort in mind and it worked to put me more at ease during my visit. I was impressed with the efficiency of the testing and the staff's professionalism. I would highly recommend Medpoint Health Care Centre if you want to take a proactive approach to your health or anyone looking for a family physician. Here's to your health!
Healthcare: To Pay Or Not To Pay was published in the September '07 issue of Real Women Magazine.