“Daddies Little Angel TM ” had a blackout yesterday, so she popped up to the local hospital (in Folkestone). They determined she was in no immediate danger of death, but said to see her GP urgently. She phoned the GP who said to shove off and not to bother them. When she insisted, they said to phone back in a day or so. A while later I got wind of this, and phoned the GP to rant at them myself. I explained to the receptionist that we weren’t to be fobbed off, and I was not sorry for being rude, because being rude gets appointments quicker. She agreed, and she said that that because I’d used the magic words “make a formal complaint” they would see us within the hour. That prompted another rant because I wasn’t able to leave work to collect the patient then. But had the receptionist offered this appointment in the first place we could have taken it. She suggested we tried again in the morning.
So we were on the doorstep of the surgery as it opened this morning, and “Daddies Little Angel TM ” was seen right away. ECGs and blood tests will have to wait for a fortnight though. As I sat and waited I couldn’t help but wonder what infirmities were besetting the bunch of workshy layabouts who were haunting the doctor’s waiting room.
This morning’s radio had an article about how GPs workloads are escalating out of control. GPs interviewed were concerned about the growing numbers of “worried well” – people with nothing wrong with them who insist on seeing their GP every time they so much as fart. It was mentioned that of every hundred people who see the GP every day, ninety get better regardless of anything that the doctor does.
I remember a conversation with a friend who lives in the Channel Isles. There is a charge to see the GP over there. Once you’ve paid up, then you get treated for your maladies, but having to stump up forty quid seems to keep the malingerers at bay…