Referral to Specialist – How long of a wait for appointment info is reasonable?

posted 3 years ago in Wellness
Post # 3
Member
399 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

@AB Bride:  My doctor told me it takes about 5 days to get a referral processed but that is just because of my insurance I believe (tricare). If you don’t hear anything in 5-10 business days I would call and see. 

 

Post # 4
Member
462 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

When I get referrals, it usually takes about 5-7 business days to make an appt, and from there I usually have a 5-8 MONTH wait to actually get in for a first visit. 

 

Post # 6
Member
3223 posts
Sugar bee

@AB Bride:  I think it very much depends on the nature of the referral.

If it’s for anything potentially life threatening then less then as soon as possible.  Maybe a week.

Anything serious, causing disability/severe pain/disfigurement etc, then under a month.        

Anything less serious, a second opinion, something non-essential, then 3 months.

It also depends on where you live.  I am in Toronto where there are 6 hospitals within 20 kms of me.  So wait times are lower.  But if you live in rural places or places without many specialists the wait may be longer.

Post # 7
Member
462 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

@AB Bride:  It probably wouldn’t hurt to call today or tomorrow. Just say “Hi, I’m ___ and I was wondering if I could check on the status of my referral sent by ____ a couple weeks ago”

Post # 8
Member
3222 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: April 2015

@andielovesj:  agreed on the nature of the problem as well as geographical location.

I’m also in Toronto and have not waited longer than ~10 days for an appointment, and one month to actually attend the appointment. I did have a somewhat urgent issue a couple of years ago and was seen within the week.

Post # 10
Member
525 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

@AB Bride:  I was sent for a referal for a specialist once and you could say it was pretty urgent. I heard back from them a whole month after the letter was sent out! And even then they were only booking for 5-6 months in the future. Then when the time finally came the doctor took holidays and delayed my appointment another whole month! 

I was a teenager at the time and this medical issue was pretty hard for a teen to deal with – so 7 months of waiting for an appointment after the issue had been happening for months before that was horrible. But then of course when I finally seen them they asked why I waited so long to come in as it has been happening far too long!!! If only they knew the hoops I had to jump through to see them.

Post # 12
Member
3223 posts
Sugar bee

I also think that the need, must be evaluated by the medical professional.  Everyone thinks their issue is urgent, and deserves to be seen right away.  Some referral forms even have a box for the doctor to tick the priority level.

I am not saying that this is your ABBride.  Your issue may actually be urgent.  I just know that in my job, I get a lot of “urgent” referrals that are so not urgent. 

Post # 13
Member
5287 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: April 2013

@AB Bride:  The longest I have ever waited for a call back from a specialist after a referral was about a week. I then got an appointment fairly fast like within a month. I’m also in the Toronto area so that could make a difference

Post # 14
Member
965 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: January 2014

@AB Bride:  Call the Doctor you were referred to and ask if they recieved your referal. If they have, ask if they can schedule you while you are on the phone. If not, ask them what you should do since your GP said they sent it on X date. They can tell you if that is normal or not.

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