Gabriela & Michael

Last November 05 I finally reached the foot surgeon after a process that took over a year in between the family, orthopedic and reumatologist doctors and the surgeon determined I had to have a toe operation to eliminate the pain (had pain for a year and a half every step I took).

Since then, I have not received yet a date for the operation. Finally, last summer (June 06) I caved in and went for a private operation by a doctor that opted out of the public system. In addition and due to the bad limping I was subjected to, my right hip arthritis got agravated and I had to go through hip surgery as well on the same leg.

In the case of the leg I was lucky because due my reumatologist being a very good person, he helped me jump the surgeon wait and therefore managed to get operated in relativly short time (still a process of six months in all with severe hip pain and I must say that I considered also private surgery including consultation with the private surgeon at $150).

b) My wife Gabriela’s story (55 years old):
Last December 05 she was diagnosed at the hospital with an herniated disk causing severe back and leg pain.
She could not get any apointment with a specialist earlier than 6 months. In the interim she was put on many different drugs just to reduce the pain and was virtually crippled. Somehow and thanks to a friends’ daughter being a doctor, she was able to receive cortizone shots in her back. However, the positive effect only manifested itself about 4 months later. By the time she saw the specialist, it was completly irrelevant.

In general, it takes now about at least a full month just to see our family doctor unless we go without an appointment in which case we have to wait three hours to get in and the doctor gets upset if it’s not a real emergency and the care is very brief and superficial.

We feel traped in this limbo after paying all our lives here huge amounts of taxes and very worried for our retirement since we are sure we’ll have to purchase very expensive private complimentary insurance (I am somewhat covered now at my job).
Power to you in your campaign!!!
Sincerely, Michael Barkai