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ChangingMinds Blog! > Blog Archive > 15-May-06


Monday 15-May-06

Seeing the doctor

I'm sitting in the doctor's surgery, waiting for my turn. It's a right old game these days, even getting an appointment. There seems to be a whole barrage of people and processes whose sole purpose is to keep you and the doctor as separated as possible for as long as possible.

Britain is following the USA, down the litigation route and suing doctors for malpractice is getting more common, so perhaps it is no surprise that bureaucracy is growing. It's a sad indictment, and even sadder fact that our national health service has to set aside 10% of its budget for malpractice payouts.

That aside, my problem today was how to see the doctor. If you're not careful you get sidelined to a nurse who seems to turn every ailment into a trivial issue. My wife had an infection in a finger and the nurse told her to put it in hot water. Of course it had no effect and when my wife eventually got to see the doctor he immediately sent her to a specialist who has now taken a biopsy. Perhaps we should sue.

So when I had a patch of raw skin that was not healing I was determined not to be fobbed off. I started in the first task of phoning for an appointment with subtle emphasis on key words.

"Hello, I need to see the doctor -- today, please."

There was a pause. I said nothing.

"Ah...can you come in at 9:30?" the voice said.

My wife was impressed. "beginners luck!" I smiled.


The doctor gave me some cream for the skin problem.

"Are there any other check-ups I should have?" I asked, raising my eyebrows and looking directly at him with a slight smile. He look a bit nervous and then went through a small battery of checks. He also got me an appointment at a local hospital for further tests.

Isn't the National Health Service wonderful?

Your comments

Dunno. But I saw on TV that Queensland Premier Beattie just came back from the UK trying to bodysnatch some British Doctors to work in the Queensland Health System.

You better make the most out of it while you can! :P

-- Colin

Dave replies:
Aha! That's where they're all going. Well, we're doing it too. There was a news story this week that they've produced a guide to Yorkshire dialect for the confused Austrian doctors they've imported ('Eh-oop, lad, tha's reet champion!'). Presumably to replace the ones gone to Oz...

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