Thursday, 8 May 2008

Health Issues in Ontario

Changes must occur before the Ontario initiative towards establishing Family Health Teams will have an impact. Physicians are not trained to look at the whole person. They tend to treat symptoms and not conditions or diseases. With limited time they may not be able to devote time to more than one issue. If their client faces a major issue, such as cancer, or depression, other comorbidities will remain untreated as they attempt to spend time on the most serious issue.

Currently, if you have physical issues you may or may not encounter a physician who understands mental health issues. In my situation, I was facing depression issues due to various personal factors: moving, changing jobs, living apart from my husband, working in a new environment with a new boss and a stressful job. As time passed, I then began giving palliative care to my mother.

Concurrently, I faced menopause symptoms that affected my sleep patterns, energy levels, gave me acne, dry skin and many other symptoms. But some of these symptoms were attributed to my bereavement and depression issues.

What would help a Family Health Team, would be either a patient navigator, nurse practitioner, or a case manager who can help patients oversee management of their care. An holistic approach is the only way to ensure that physical and mental health issues are dealt with in a timely and auspicious manner.

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