Two days ago, my six-year-old daughter comes to me with itchy bumps all over. Not sure what it might be, I start stripping her bed and checking all around her room for potential tiny, hungry intruders. I also called TeleHealth. After a series of questions, I am told to bring her to the doctor within 24 hours since it could be chicken pox. It is now the evening and the doctor’s office is closed; but that doesn’t matter anyways because their policy is that if you want to see the doctor, you have to call first thing the morning of. My friend compares it to trying to be caller seven when a radio station is giving away prizes. First thing the next morning, I call my GP’s office. He’s not in until Friday. I would still like to know whether she is highly contagious with chicken pox or being eaten alive while she sleeps. My only other option is to wait endlessly to see a doctor at the emergency room (or travel to the nearest walk-in clinic 30 minutes away). Now, I know this is NOT an emergency situation, as often times they are not, but still, I have no other option, do I? It turns out, I do, and I can’t be more excited to tell you all about it.
How many of you have considered alternative medicine? I come from a traditional, western medicine-seeking family. I know of some ailments that have naturopathic treatments, but I know very little else. I just assumed that when you are sick, you go to your GP. I just had the opportunity to meet Dr. Shawn Yakimovich of the Kemptville Naturopathic Clinic, Kemptville’s resident naturopathic doctor and our meeting was eye-opening, to say the least.
Did you know that each time you walk in to the hospital emergency room, OHIP is billed a minimum of $300?? That’s $300 to diagnose my daughter’s bumps!!! There is nothing they can do for her other than confirm or refute that it is chicken pox. There is nothing pharmaceutical required to treat her or test her to detect the chicken pox. She will either be sent home with a prescription of rest, baking soda baths for the itch, and a notice to quarantine for X amount of days, or a suggestion to bug-bomb my house. Not exactly tax dollars well-spent.
Let me introduce to you, our alternative to the emergency room, Dr. Shawn Yakimovich, ND! As a naturopathic doctor, he can examine you, just as a M.D. can, he can order tests, treat, and discuss MANY health issues. Can he prescribe drugs? No. Can he offer treatment alternatives? Yes. Will he try to treat a serious medical condition that requires prescriptions and medical intervention? No. Can he examine a person and determine when a referral to an M.D. or hospital is required? Yes, and he will. Does he make himself available? Very. I’m going to share a link to his website because there is SO much information about what he can do, his qualifications, the types of testing and treatment he can do, and exactly what is involved in an appointment with Dr. Shawn. I promise you will not be disappointed.
Now, I know you are all probably wondering about the cost. An appointment with a naturopath is not covered under OHIP. Private health benefits usually include some alternative medicine coverage. But let me break it down a bit. You get a call at work. Your kid has a fever and doesn’t feel well. You have to leave work and go get him. He looks awful. He feels awful. He should see a doctor. Well, your GP is booked solid until April 2018 and they are leaving in 30 minutes anyways. They tell you to call first thing tomorrow morning to see if they can fit you in that day. But wait, sorry, your doctor won’t be in until next Wednesday. Do you want to drag your kid to the ER, make him sit in the waiting room for hours surrounded by other sick people while feeling completely awful himself? Probably not how you envision your evening. Or, you could give Dr. Shawn a call. He makes an appointment with you at his earliest availability (it will be much sooner than the standard decade-long wait for a GP). You meet him at his office, no waiting. He takes a thorough look at your kid. Yup, that’s a viral infection. He suggests some remedies. The visit and remedy cost you under a hundred dollars without insurance coverage; you are home within 45 minutes; and, your kid is resting comfortably and feeling better within a day or two. He goes back to school and you get back to work, ASAP. Oh BTW, he will probably be able to tell pretty quickly if you need a hospital. After all, he did spend EIGHT YEARS of post-secondary studying all things body and medicine.
There you are, Kemptville; your alternative to the ER. Even though this blog is about non-emergency, but still urgent, medical care, I would like to make a final, quick note about Dr. Shawn. If you are tired of pain or discomfort that an MD can’t figure out, being treated almost exclusively with drugs, or having a medical professional that treats you like just one of the herd, rushed through and barely acknowledged, maybe it’s time to consider an alternative to regular care as well.
Dr. Shawn Yakimovich, BSc ND
Kemptville Naturopathic Clinic
28 Prescott Street, 2nd Floor