Okay, here's the deal. We have finally realized that we are not going to be able to find the hobby farm we want to buy any time soon here in Quebec. So we have somewhat reluctantly decided to start looking on the Ontario side. There are some great hobby farms there, and we'll be paying significantly less income tax as a bonus.
One of the things that makes it easier to leave Quebec (which we both really love; we lived in Montreal for four years in the early 90s and had a blast) is the health care system. In our region, the Outaouais, it is actually IMPOSSIBLE to get a family doctor; throughout Quebec it is a problem. And now women in the Gatineau region are having to wait up to five months for a diagnostic mammogram. Which means sitting there, worrying that you might have cancer, for up to FIVE MONTHS! As for GPs, there are 67 empty doctor spot in this region, doctors who could be servicing up to 100,000 people.
But the thing that was really the last straw was the news that came out this week. First one of Quebec Premier Jean Charest's mignons, Charlotte L'Ecuyer, says that not everyone needs a family doctor, and in fact she herself doesn't have one. Bully for her! I guess she's never heard of preventative medicine. I guess she thinks it's great to go to the ER when you have the sniffles or need an RX refill. Soon after we moved here from BC, I needed to get some prescriptions refilled. Not able to find a doctor, I was told by the government agency looking after such things to go to the hospital ER to get my drugs. The ER!! What an appalling waste of my tax dollars, not to mention hospital resources. The rest of the country is trying to get people to STOP going to the ER for minor afflictions!
So Charest decides to damage control after Miz Charlotte's remark. After all, there is a provincial election later this month. He distances himself from her comments, and says that they are working to improve the family doctor situation in Quebec. In fact, they are going to prioritize access to GPs thusly: first access for families with children, the elderly, and those who are "vulnerable". Uh, so what am I, chopped liver? Because I don't have kids, I'm not elderly, and I'm not vulnerable, I don't deserve a family doctor? I don't think I am necessarily MORE important than families with kids, but neither am I LESS important.
Obviously this appalling lack of doctors (a lot of them leave to go to Ontario, where they are paid more than they are in Quebec) is not going to be fixed anytime soon, and even if they do start to fix it, who knows WHEN I will rate a doctor, being the childfree, unvulnerable, un-grey-haired worthless hunk of flesh that Charest believes me to be? I'd guess somewhere around 2025... but wait, I'll be a senior citizen then!
So, we're looking for farms in Ontario and I guess we'll have to visit Quebec to get our French cheese and culture. It's a shame, but what are you gonna do? I want a doctor, and I don't plan to have children in order to get myself one.