You’re not listening

Dear US Healthcare System:

I feel abandoned.

>Before I start, let’s be clear: this isn’t about my personal issue. That simply served as a trigger for the broader questions.<

I have a (mild) chronic issue that hasn’t responded well to treatment, but I don’t have any way to ask questions or get simple answers. If I want to talk to my doctor, I have to make an appointment several weeks out. I can ask questions through my health portal, but that involves sending a message, having someone relay it to the doctor, waiting for his answer, and relaying his answer back to me. This process usually takes an entire business day. If I have a question about the response I receive, I have to start the whole process all over again. An exchange that should take five minutes of direct conversation can end up literally taking days.

Why have you made healthcare providers so inaccessible to the people they are supposed to be helping?

What would happen if my condition were more serious than the one I have now?

Whom do I ask for help?

You tell me to avoid Dr. Google, but when I’m struggling with pain and my mind is racing and my doctor isn’t readily available, where else should I go?

You tell me to advocate for myself, but where? How do I do that when I can’t get past the wall of administration? When I can’t talk directly to a provider? I can tell my story and ask my questions and fight to be heard, but I have to do this over and over and over again to get to someone who can actually help me. And this takes So. Much. Time. Don’t you think I have a job to do or a household to run?

This is absurd. All this effort to ask a few questions. Why have you removed access to our healthcare providers? To put it into an SAT analogy, our healthcare system : healing :: automated phone systems : customer service. I can’t get to the right person to actually get help when I need it. Every issue has to escalate to something bigger than it actually is just to receive attention. And you wonder why I’m one step from snapping when I finally do get to talk to someone.

How do we get back to basics? Seriously, all I want is a simple conversation.

Sincerely,

Me (and everyone else in this country)