I need to see a dermatologist about a funny dot of skin under my eye. My doctor tries to expedite a referral. But I have to wait two weeks for it to arrive. The number on the sheet that arrives yields a busy signal every day for a week. I call back my primary and am told that my doctor isn’t authorized to make a referral to a dermatologist and I need to call my insurance and get temporarily assigned a new primary care physician in order to get a working referral. Call my insurance (wade through interminable voice-activated phone tree, which of course does not transmit any of the information I’ve entered over to the worker who ultimately responds), who has no idea what I’m talking about. I give them number of my doctor’s office, he puts me on hold, calls them, I wait on hold for 11th time today. He gets back to me, then says my doctor doesn’t exist. He names a doctor I had two years ago, not my current. Everyone totally confused. Finally it’s (presumably) straightened out. Now I just have to wait another week for a replacement referral sheet and then make the appointment.
Seems like this kind of stuff happens every time I need to do anything in our medical system beyond having my blood pressure taken. And yet people continually refer to our health care system as “the best in the world.” I don’t get it.