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April 6, 2018

Wasteful MSP Referal Requirement

Honorable Adrian Dix
Minister of Health
PO Box 9050
Victoria, BC V8W 9E2

Dear Minister Dix:

The purpose of this letter is to encourage you to eliminate the requirement that family doctors make annual referrals in order for someone with a chronic condition continue to see a specialist.

I was diagnosed with glaucoma in June 2012; I now also suffer from very painful Blepharitis. Since my diagnosis I have been seen by my ophthalmologist, Dr. A. Goldberg, at least every four months, sometimes more often. On June 14, 2016 the receptionist told me that prior to my next appointment I must obtain a referral. I was handed a card that says: “MSP requires an annual referral for all specialist appointments; our doctors are specialists.”

An annual referral to keep the family doctor in the loop is meaningless for people like me since I must regularly see a specialist for the rest of my life. Like many thousands of British Columbians I do not have a family doctor, so for me the referral requirement means going to a walk-in-clinic solely to obtain a referral, thereby wasting both my time and MSP’s money. Family physicians can offer nothing to help with the care, monitoring or treatment for my condition as they lack the equipment and qualifications to deal with it.

I sent a letter like this to your predecessor and after several months received what I can best describe as a form letter from the Ministry’s Director, Compensation Policy and Programs Branch, which did not adequately address my concern (enclosed).

Since this letter has no chance of getting through your correspondence unit and before your eyes, I am copying MLA Bowinn Ma and asking that she help assure that you see this. I am also posting it to my website.


David D. Schreck