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Trying to get to a doctor in Canberra, a joke without a punchline.

By AngryHenry - 17 August 2009 67

After booking a week ahead with my doctor for an appointment (I had some stiches that needed removing) I opted to go in early(prior to 9am) to ensure I was going to make it to work on time, only to end up waiting for two hours.

This certainly isn’t a first for me, in fact, whenever I have been off work ill I have found it increasingly more difficult to get a doctors apoointment within a week of calling. Alsoon numerous occaisions I have had to deal with narky receptionists who have either booked me in incorrectly or forgotten I have even checked in at the front desk, leaving me there to wait until I have spoken up.

To top this off I was never even informed my regular GP had moved when his practice in my suburb had closed down, leading me on a wild goose chase in order to find where he now worked from and having to argue black and blue that whilst I was new at that practice the GP in question I had been seeing for quite a few years.

I am over it! My dog gets better treatment at the vet!

Yes I understand there are people sicker than me but something needs to be done to address this ridiculous situation.

If I was in prison I think I would be able to see a doctor within 24 hours.  As it stands I have to pay $70 for the privilege of waiting two hours to see my regular doctor (of which I can claim back $30 bucks).

Like I said before, I understand there are people with more problems than me in this regard BUT how is this fair or reasonable for law-abiding, tax paying, citizens?

I shudder to think of how people on lower incomes than mine deal with this situation, especially in an emergency.

What’s Your opinion?


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67 Responses to
Trying to get to a doctor in Canberra, a joke without a punchline.
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felixyschan 5:51 pm 27 Aug 11

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Watson 5:56 pm 29 May 11

Gin02 said :

I could not have said it better myself. More than happy to pay to see a doctor but is it too much to expect them to give me more than 3 minutes of their time for my $60.

+1

I don’t have a problem with the fee, only with what I get for that money. Which is most often less than what I can get for free from Google!

I once took my daughter to CALM because her thigh had started swelling up considerably after she got her vaccination the day before. (I also lodged an official complaint about the GP who administered the shots, but that’s too long a story) I walked in, explained in a couple of sentences what I was concerned about, got my daughter to hike up her skirt, he glanced at her for 2 seconds from a meter away and said “allergic reaction”. Then he prescribed her Phenergan, without warning me about side effects (I know, I should’ve read the advice on the medication, but it didn’t occur to me at the time) so I ended up sending the poor little mite to preschool drugged to her eye balls and barely able to stand up by lunch time. I was in and out of that consulation room in probably 2 minutes and it cost me $50 of my own money and about $40 of the tax payers’. I lodged a complaint with the medical board about that experience.

If a GP these days asks to examine me – or in fact gives me any useful advice – I am so stumped that I have to ask them to repeat themselves.

I once went to a GP to have him draw up an “Enhance Primary Care Plan” as I suffer from a chronic disease and would’ve been able to claim some treatments that are otherwise not covered by medicare. He sighed, rolled his eyes, muttered that it would take him ages to write that up, asked me a few very impatient questions about my medical history, then cut me short and said “I don’t have time for this, book a double appointment next week and I’ll see what I can do for you”. Now I wouldn’t have minded booking a double appointment if he would’ve shown the least amount of sympathy and commitment to providing the care that I needed. I walked out of there feeling miserable and never got the plan drawn up.

I insist that the vast majority of GPs in Canberra seem to have spent their 10 years at uni practicing to write illegibly.

Now I would really like a practising GP to respond to this one.

Gin02 2:13 pm 29 May 11

I could not have said it better myself. More than happy to pay to see a doctor but is it too much to expect them to give me more than 3 minutes of their time for my $60.

Wily_Bear 12:44 pm 29 May 11

charliemack said :

Roberto1 said :

Reading the foregoing I get the impression that some people are blaming GPs for the parlous state of the health care system.

The unpalatable fact is that Medicare has been used to control the cost of General Practice without any regard to what effect it might have on the supply of GP services. So as GPs gradually retire and die off there are no new graduates coming through to replace them. Why would a new graduate train for some eleven years to become a GP, to bulk bill a bunch of whingers who want it all for nothing, right now.

Having been screwed over by Medicare as a GP for many years, it is with some amusement that I read the comments on this thread.

Hear Hear!! Well said and I throughly agree!

Some people can be so ignorant and they do indeed want it all for themselves, when they want it (usually 5 minutes ago!) and then want this service for free! Sorry chaps, it just doesn’t work like that, especially in this day and age! Why should Doctors have to work for nothing and provide what is an essentially free service to someone after their hard work doing 10 years of study! They deserve to be able to earn a living and also earn a decent wage for the services they provide. It is also the cost of the responsibility they have, not only in prescriptions etc, but also having to tell someone for example they have cancer or you have x amount of time to live and then attempt to ease this process of dying. Would you like that responsibility??!! You’re all happy enough to go an pay ridiculous amounts for materialistic possessions and can’t wait to go an sue someone to get even more money (probably using if you don’t win you don’t pay lawyers to boot!)… Completely agree with Roberto1!! Canberrans, get over it, bloody pack of whingers!

I am more than happy to pay a premium price to consult a GP, on the proviso that I am indeed provided with a good service,(right now, I’d settle for adequate). Until my wonderful GP passed away several years ago, I had not had the misfortune of having to negotiate finding a doctor worth his/her money in over 17 years. Finding a new GP has been a nightmare. The first one I tried at a ‘super clinic’ in Belconnen, wanted to conduct expensive tests on a part of my body that had been surgically removed years ago, and refused to believe the tests were unnessecary (in fact, impossible).
The second attempt at another super clinic in Woden area, I simply needed a medical certificate from work after coming down with a chest infection. I got there 20 mins prior to opening, paid my $60.00, entered the consulting room, Dr wrote me a certificate and handed it to me. He did not utter a single word throughout the 3 minute consultation. Feeling somewhat aggrieved, I asked if he would like to listen to my chest (just in case it was pneumonia or something!) and he laughed, saying “you know what is wrong” ! Seriously ?
Next attempt, took daughter to same place, I’m clearly a slow learner, when she had a heavy cold. I know they can’t help, however again required a medical certificate from work. Waited four hours, with at least three to go, when my poor baby cried and asked to go home to bed. On a whim, we dropped into Wanniassa chemist, and recieved a medical certificate within 30 mins. Guess what ? They spent 20 of those minutes examining her carefully, and provided concise instructions on what to look for in case she got worse. Needless to say, when sick it is now a battle to get her to see a Doctor. Recently when meeting a student doing medicine at uni, she was overheard advising her to become a pharmicist instead, because, ‘ Otherwise you’ll work in a big doctor factory and hate your job’. From the mouths of babes heehee.
Obviously, a pharmicist cannot replace a doctor, however if you just need a certificate, don’t subject your kids or yourself to ridiculous wait times , in rooms full of sick, cranky and viral ridden patrons. Go to a chemist and then go back home to bed.

charliemack 6:26 pm 28 May 11

Roberto1 said :

Reading the foregoing I get the impression that some people are blaming GPs for the parlous state of the health care system.

The unpalatable fact is that Medicare has been used to control the cost of General Practice without any regard to what effect it might have on the supply of GP services. So as GPs gradually retire and die off there are no new graduates coming through to replace them. Why would a new graduate train for some eleven years to become a GP, to bulk bill a bunch of whingers who want it all for nothing, right now.

Having been screwed over by Medicare as a GP for many years, it is with some amusement that I read the comments on this thread.

Hear Hear!! Well said and I throughly agree!

Some people can be so ignorant and they do indeed want it all for themselves, when they want it (usually 5 minutes ago!) and then want this service for free! Sorry chaps, it just doesn’t work like that, especially in this day and age! Why should Doctors have to work for nothing and provide what is an essentially free service to someone after their hard work doing 10 years of study! They deserve to be able to earn a living and also earn a decent wage for the services they provide. It is also the cost of the responsibility they have, not only in prescriptions etc, but also having to tell someone for example they have cancer or you have x amount of time to live and then attempt to ease this process of dying. Would you like that responsibility??!! You’re all happy enough to go an pay ridiculous amounts for materialistic possessions and can’t wait to go an sue someone to get even more money (probably using if you don’t win you don’t pay lawyers to boot!)… Completely agree with Roberto1!! Canberrans, get over it, bloody pack of whingers!

tamabo 1:27 pm 06 Aug 10

for those who go to the belco centres, i agree they are gabage. i had to get checked for whooping cough one day as my cough sounded like it and i work with babies- sat in the waiting room for well over 4 hours. it doesn’t bother me so much as i had a book but i felt terrible about the risk of spreading to other ppl, if you leave and miss your name you have to start all over again. having said that. If you go to Yass you can usaully get an appointment for afternoon if you call in the morning, the staff are friendly( and on time) and while you waste 40 minutes getting there, you save approx 3 hours that you would have spent waiting in canberra.

Roberto1 7:42 pm 09 Jan 10

Reading the foregoing I get the impression that some people are blaming GPs for the parlous state of the health care system.

The unpalatable fact is that Medicare has been used to control the cost of General Practice without any regard to what effect it might have on the supply of GP services. So as GPs gradually retire and die off there are no new graduates coming through to replace them. Why would a new graduate train for some eleven years to become a GP, to bulk bill a bunch of whingers who want it all for nothing, right now.

Having been screwed over by Medicare as a GP for many years, it is with some amusement that I read the comments on this thread.

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