Why not make referrals good for five years?

In a recent letter, writer suggested that reducing costs in our health care system could be part of the solution to our health-care issues

In a recent letter, Robert Tritschler (“There are better solutions than just more money to fix our health care,” The NEWS Oct. 20) suggested that reducing costs in our health care system could be part of the solution to our health-care issues, rather than just throwing more money at it. He suggested bulk buying across provinces to lower costs.

Another, more immediate, way to reduce costs is to recognize that some medical problems requiring a specialist are chronic. Indeed, some are with us for the rest of our life. So why do we have to keep returning to our family doctor for a referral every time we need to see a specialist for such chronic conditions?

This is a waste of money to our healthcare system for that unnecessary doctor’s visit. And I thought we were experiencing a shortage of family doctors. An initial referral that is good for, perhaps, five years, might be a small start that would help to address both problems.

I expect there are lots of other simple yet practical solutions that would help stretch our health-care dollars. Let’s hear them.

Keith Horton

French Creek