One doctors list is what's needed
| Posted: Saturday, Jul 07, 2012 06:00 am
I'm glad the primary care networks are trying to make it easier to find a family doctor via its new www.edmontonareadocs.ca site [June 30, Gazette].
Of course, this doesn't include family docs who aren't part of a PCN. The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta, which licenses all doctors in the province, has a public database of all doctors and doctors are required to keep it updated of any changes (not that they always do of course, but ...).
Even at only $25,000 (plus whatever administration and meeting time was spent that isnít costed) I still think the new PCN site is a duplication of effort, resulting in two conflicting data sets.
Itís also another example of individual silos, each with their own bureaucracy justifying its own importance, within what should be a single health system. All it does is add another level of confusion for the poor member of the public who just wants to find a family doctor.
You want to make it easy? Have one place for people to go looking for a doctor that contains all the relevant info the public might be interested in. If that means the PCNs supply authoritative raw data about which docs are PCN members, which can then be mashed up with other authoritative raw data sets then all that can get a nice front-end that the public accesses.
I'm happy there are organizations advocating for primary care. I fear though that this PCN initiative might be an example of one group spending time competing with the rest of the health-care system, rather than just focusing on what's best for direct patient care.
Mark Roseman, St. Albert