Referral to see a specialist - Is it needed? (do you self-refer)

Hello,

Do we need referrals from a from a family physician to see a specialist like a neurologist, or a psychiatrist?

Or we can self-refer our selves to the specialists?

Thanks.

Hi, endgame . . . welcome to

Hi, endgame . . . welcome to the forum.

I see that you are Canadian . . . for Alberta . . . yes, you need a referral. I am pretty sure that the other provinces follow the same procedure, but if I'm wrong, I am sure that someone will correct me.

Yes, you need a referral in

Yes, you need a referral in Ontario. If you saw the specialist within a year, then you can call them back, otherwise, I believe you'd need another referral.

abusedemotionally

abusedemotionally wrote:

Hi, endgame . . . welcome to the forum.

I see that you are Canadian . . . for Alberta . . . yes, you need a referral. I am pretty sure that the other provinces follow the same procedure, but if I'm wrong, I am sure that someone will correct me.

I lived in Edmonton for a year. But I moved due to high rents to Windsor, ON to further my studies before going back to Alberta so I can get a "real" job.

Anyways thanks for confirming Smiling

wisheronstars wrote: Yes,

wisheronstars wrote:

Yes, you need a referral in Ontario. If you saw the specialist within a year, then you can call them back, otherwise, I believe you'd need another referral.

Got any idea about US (Michigan)?

I went to get a referral from my doc in Windsor, ON, but the receptionist still has not phoned me back with a psychiatrist appointment. Its been 2 weeks already!

I am covered in a US St. John's Smart Plan insurance (Michigan). But I am unsure on how the referral system works in the US.

Ok so it has been confirmed

Ok so it has been confirmed that in Canada's health care system you need a referral to visit a specialist.

What about US health care system?

If you did get a referral in

If you did get a referral in Ontario, and if it's anything like Alberta, you'll have a long wait to see a psychiatrist or any other specialist, as far as that goes. I think the only exception to the rule is if you are admitted into hospital, or it is seen to be life threatening. I can't give you any information about the US . . . sorry.

endgame

endgame wrote:
wisheronstars wrote:

Yes, you need a referral in Ontario. If you saw the specialist within a year, then you can call them back, otherwise, I believe you'd need another referral.

Got any idea about US (Michigan)?

I went to get a referral from my doc in Windsor, ON, but the receptionist still has not phoned me back with a psychiatrist appointment. Its been 2 weeks already!

I am covered in a US St. John's Smart Plan insurance (Michigan). But I am unsure on how the referral system works in the US.

Endgame . . . if you know the psychiatrist's name that the doctor referred you to, why don't you phone his office number and talk to the receptionist there and ask how long it will be. From my own experience, they know that people who are seeing a psychiatrist tend to be a bit anxious, and I don't think they'd object to your phoning and inquiring about it.

The doctor did not tell me

The doctor did not tell me the name. The doctor told me the receptionist will book an appointment for me. The receptionist said that she would phone me.

After a week of waiting, I phoned the doctors office and they said they are still waiting for a reply from the psychiatrist office.

And I don't feel like phoning the doctors office again. The receptionists do have powers too.

They can make you sit in the waiting room for more time if they wish. Esp. if some one annoys them, or makes them do more work.

endgame wrote: The doctor

endgame wrote:

The doctor did not tell me the name. The doctor told me the receptionist will book an appointment for me. The receptionist said that she would phone me.

After a week of waiting, I phoned the doctors office and they said they are still waiting for a reply from the psychiatrist office.

And I don't feel like phoning the doctors office again. The receptionists do have powers too.

They can make you sit in the waiting room for more time if they wish. Esp. if some one annoys them, or makes them do more work.

Is it at all possible, in a very nice manner, to ask for the psychiatrist's name, and then call the psychiatrist's office yourself? Be very very polite, and tell the receptionist that you understand that she must be very busy, and you hate to bother her. If you get the name, then call that office, and be very very polite there too, and good luck. DO NOT BE RUDE, DO NOT LOSE YOUR TEMPER.

Do understand too that if you are a danger to yourself or others, you can get immediate attention. I hope that is not the case, but if it is, you need to politely state that fact. I wish you the best.

endgame

endgame wrote:
wisheronstars wrote:

Yes, you need a referral in Ontario. If you saw the specialist within a year, then you can call them back, otherwise, I believe you'd need another referral.

Got any idea about US (Michigan)?

I went to get a referral from my doc in Windsor, ON, but the receptionist still has not phoned me back with a psychiatrist appointment. Its been 2 weeks already!

I am covered in a US St. John's Smart Plan insurance (Michigan). But I am unsure on how the referral system works in the US.

If you live in the U.S. a referal is dictated by the insurance you are covered by. Many insurance providers do insist that you have a referal from your Primary Care Physician. Some do not as is the case with the insurance that I have. I think it's good and bad to have to have referals from a PCP. Good in that the PCP can track whats going on with you and can make sure you see the correct specialist. Bad in that he/she can refer you to a friend of theirs instead of the best qualified for your condition. They may be playing God and think they have your condition all under control when in realitity they don't and refuse to refer you to anyone who could actually help you. You end up with the costs of the physician and the specialist when you would have only had the cost of the specialist without the delay in time also of having to see the PCP first.

To continue Product's

To continue Product's thought--with your US insurance, check your insurance benefits package or call the insurance company--they can tell you if you need a referral to a specialist. Also, be specific as to what type of specialist. Some insurances don't require referrals to OB/GYNs or psychiatrists, even though they require referrals to all other specialists.

Good luck.

If you are able to self-pay

If you are able to self-pay or have the means to do so, often its possible to self-refer, however, some departments and doctors still request or a referral from your Canadian doctor. The American doctor will want a copy of your medical file or as much information as you are able to obtain. The doctor may ask you to sign some paper work allowing them a greater chance of accessing your information from Canada should the Canadian hospital or doctor be unwilling to cooperate. I’d recommend getting copies though yourself, when possible, because faxes are not always easy to read (do not always come out well when sent). If going through the hospital you referral will go through an international patient office. These men and women will be of great assistance to you. If any questions come up they ae the people to ask.

Best Wishes, Smiling
blue

When you do call the

When you do call the specialist's office ask about the cancellation list and if you can be added. This may help you get in a bit more quickly. Smiling

Thanks Product of USA,

Thanks Product of USA, rockygirl, and blueskies for clarifying the US system Smiling

I will phone St. John Smart Plan to see if I need a referral.

I guess in a way the US health care system is better, because you get to choose which specialist you want for example (the one who graduated very recently will have more knowledge). But the down side is that it needs to be "in network", the specialist needs to participate with the insurance provider, or there is a very high co-pay.

endgame wrote: Thanks

endgame wrote:

Thanks Product of USA, rockygirl, and blueskies for clarifying the US system Smiling

I will phone St. John Smart Plan to see if I need a referral.

I guess in a way the US health care system is better, because you get to choose which specialist you want for example (the one who graduated very recently will have more knowledge). But the down side is that it needs to be "in network", the specialist needs to participate with the insurance provider, or there is a very high co-pay.

Endgame,
Sometimes out of network is not as expensive as you think. And sometimes it is. If you want to see a doctor who is out of your network, call and ask the fee. My insurance reimburses me a certain amount for out of network. It's not as good as going in network, but sometimes another $20 is worth it to me.

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