Some patients referred directly to the Rheumatology Department, by their family physician, are deemed to have a non-rheumatological condition. The result is a significant delay in access to rheumatology care for patients that are truly suffering from rheumatic and/or connective tissue disease. This in turn is frustrating for non-rheumatological patients that have waited long periods with little or no outcome for their condition.
Individual Rheumatologists have the right to decline direct referrals from time to time in an attempt to manage their waitlists. the Rheumatology Department may also decline a referral if there is no clear indication that the patient will benefit from treatment.