First Contact

One of the greatest points of concern when we were deciding to return to Prince Edward Island was access to quality health care. My views on this were shaped in a large part by my mothers inability to get timely care for the maladies that struck her late in life – that is until she came to the end of her struggle where she had what can only be described as world class treatment during her time in Palliative Care. There are also the stories from friends detailing the experience of sitting in pain for hours and hours at the hospital emergency room. If there was any motivation to stay healthy and fit it is this.

I’ve also set aside a small investment to use in the event that we need to seek treatment abroad – a medical tourism fund, so to speak. I can’t afford additional insurance as of yet, but that’s something we will be looking into in the future.

Any criticism/negativity I may have is not directed towards the professionals themselves but the system. The people who worked at Palliative Care were the most amazing people you would ever meet.

There have been a few instances where I might have sought a doctors advice if we were still in Hsinchu, but have thus far been lucky enough to medicate our way out of any problems, with over the counter meds. That is until now.

Camren has a minor problem that through his dogged independence has become a bit of a bigger problem. He has an ingrown nail on his toe that has become infected, which if left untreated might lead to greater problems.

Following instructions on the foot care service menu of the Water Street clinic I called to see what service might be appropriate for him. To get foot care I was told I would need a referral from our doctor. As we don’t have a doctor (and likely may never), we will be off to the walk-in clinic so they can assess where we go next. Fingers crossed they don’t suggest the emergency room or like they used to say to my mother, see you in a few months.


I used the Skip the Waiting Room online booking form to what I previously would have called registering to see the doctor. I don’t know what it is called here. I could talk at length at the problems with Skip the Waiting Room user experience, but it in the end worked, and I appreciate the efficiency of the system. It not only saved time but also would seem to be the only guaranteed method to actually see a doctor. The small fee was a bit of surprise, considering this is a socialized medical system.

The doctors visit went well – we got our 3 minute consult and were out the door with a prescription. The cost of the medicine was reasonable as well.

One parent didn’t have as smooth an experience as we had. She arrived without registering and was told that the clinic was full and was informed that there was no where else in the Charlottetown area for her to go. Visiting a doctor here requires a measure of advanced planning.

Overall my preconceptions of the medical system were today somewhat unfounded.