Access to Best Doctors – Are You in the Mo?

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BY ANDREW STEWART 

What does the word “Best” mean to you? To me it is the highest degree of quality or no one is better at what a person does in their profession and sport for example. So, when I learned that Best Doctors was automatically included in my critical illness policy for free I had to find out more. We are aware that we need critical illness not only because you will die, but mostly because you will survive. Not all illnesses have the same impact, but all have the potential to create unexpected expenses. A lump-sum cash benefit would allow you to lighten the financial stress associated with your illness. Best Doctors provides access to expert medical specialists who help you understand your medical condition and treatment options, so you make the right decisions about your care.

Making the right decisions when going through a health crisis is not always the easiest thing to do. I can imagine how Best Doctors would have been extremely helpful to our family when my father was diagnosed with prostate cancer. Best Doctors could have helped us find a specialist or treatment facility within or outside Canada. They could have also helped to understand his medical condition and our available treatment options.

Best Doctors services are available when you need a second opinion on a medical diagnosis and/or treatment. Their medical specialists perform an in-depth analysis of your medical records, including X-rays, test results, imaging scans and pathology samples. They provide an expert’s detailed summary of the findings which they encourage you to share with your physician. Should you need assistance finding a top specialist in Canada they will consider your unique medical history and geographic location and match you with the right doctor for your condition. If you seek assistance finding a top specialist outside Canada, they will co-ordinate a search of their global database of over 53,000 physicians in more than 450 specialties and subspecialties to find the expert(s) best suited to your needs. They will provide you with up to three recommendations for leading physicians.

In many provinces, projected MRI and CT scans wait times for “non-urgent” scans can take months, impacting pain, disability or intensifying symptoms. For example, you may be experiencing excruciating pain from a “non-urgent” herniated disc that is “not likely” to cause permanent disability, or you may need knee replacement surgery that “can wait.” Best Doctors can reduce wait times for MRI and CT scans to a matter of days, which will help you get a faster assessment of your symptoms. Additionally, you can receive expert advice about a medical condition. Sometimes, a fifteen-minute visit with your doctor is not enough time to get all your questions answered. If you still have questions, their Ask the Expert service will provide written answers to your questions within five business days.

I can imagine how the Movember Foundation could have played a role in giving my father the facts and changing his behaviour towards getting tested if he was aware of their existence. Movember, if you are unfamiliar, is an annual event involving the growing of moustaches during the month of November to raise awareness of various male cancers, such as prostate cancer. Movember aims to increase early cancer detection, diagnosis and effective treatments and ultimately reduce the number of preventable deaths. Besides annual check-ups, the Movember Foundation encourages men to be aware of family history of cancer and to adopt a healthier lifestyle.

What is prostate cancer? The prostate is a gland located immediately below the bladder, in front of the bowels. It produces fluid that protects and enriches sperm. Prostate cancer occurs when some of the cells in the prostate reproduce far more rapidly than normal, resulting in a tumour. If left untreated, prostate cancer cells may eventually spread from the prostate and invade distant parts of the body, particularly the lymph nodes and bones, producing secondary tumours in a process known as metastasis. One of the most worrying aspects of the disease is that most prostate cancers develop without men experiencing any symptoms in the early stages.

Know the risk factors. Prostate cancer only affects men, as women do not have a prostate gland. Risk factors in developing the disease include: Age – The older a man, the more likely he is to be diagnosed with prostate cancer. Family History – A man with a father or brother who developed prostate cancer is twice as likely to develop the disease. Ethnicity – Increased occurrence in black African and Afro-Caribbean males.

As a male when it comes to selecting the right critical illness policy, there are three outcomes we are planning for. We purchase enough coverage to ease the financial burden and strain that can be put on yourself and your family. We understand the length of term, features and additional benefits of our policy to the fullest. And finally, if we never have to use it- then that is truly the best-case scenario.

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