I have blogged in the past about some of the amazing restaurants in Prince George. But in this piece, instead of talking about something everyone loves (food); I will discuss an inevitable part of life that most people loathe.
No one likes clinics or hospitals. By their very definition, they are places where people go when they are not doing well. Visits to healthcare facilities can often be unpleasant, lengthy and taxing experiences. Yet they are an inescapable part of living.
In larger markets, everything is more competitive, from space on the road to places to live to employment opportunities. From my experience, healthcare has followed a similar pattern. In the city where I am from, Montreal, a trip to the clinic was usually never less than a 3-hour affair. One time, after waiting 4 hours hoping to see a GP, I was told to go home at closing time and come back the next morning. Accessing healthcare was often a frustrating journey.
My recent experience in Prince George, however, has proven vastly different. I have made 3 trips to the clinic since I arrived here one-year-and-a-half ago and I have been in and out in an average of 45 minutes. Recently, recurring headaches brought me to the clinic on a Sunday, and to my surprise I was able to see a doctor within 20 minutes. My issue required a CT scan, which I thought would be a lengthy and stressful process given my experience in Montreal. However, by Monday I had an appointment in the X-ray Department lined up for the following morning. And on Tuesday, I walked in to the hospital at 7:45 am and was walking out the door at 8:25 am with everything having been completed. I received my results on Thursday of the same week (which were good, I might add).
My knowledge is, of course, limited. However, for my healthcare requirements, the experience I had in Prince George was incredibly stress-free. It was almost pleasant! The doctors I saw were helpful and caring, and the facilities are exceptional. In this way, a move up to Prince George is not a sacrifice in terms of access to great healthcare; similar to my experience, it may even be a vast improvement.
Photos courtesy of Northern Health Authority and CEI Architects.