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DO WE STILL NEED DOCTORS?

December 1, 2017

A PLAN to dispense with GPs in the Welsh NHS has been criticised by health minister Vaughan Gething and the GPs themselves with a letter written by the chairman of the General Practitioners committee in Wales protesting. http://www.walesonline.co.uk/business/business-news/four-radical-ideas-how-fix-13964438

http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/local-news/western-mail-letters-friday-decem

I am very keen to engage with my GP online for a variety of reasons but they simply will not. You can book appointments under the Welsh NHS’s My Health Online system and order repeat prescriptions at the practice but cannot ever have a chat online with the doctor or even describe your current symptoms and seek advice or guidance.

The only person you can e-mail is the practice manager and their responses tend to be brief, businesslike and sometimes quite brusque because, generally, they don’t like being bothered by their patients, many of whom may be complaining.

Much of the business I need to carry out with my doctor could easily be done online to save time and money. I don’t particularly enjoy going to the surgery as administrative staff at reception tend to be peremptory and harassed, intense about their own processes rather than my own needs and appear to be always reactive rather than interactive. That sets a bad tone for me at the outset and I then find myself downbeat and usually unable to motivate myself for the consultation.

The waiting room, too, is not a pleasant place because, of course, it is usually full of sick people coughing and spluttering in your face.

The consultation is usually much too short and much too often I leave the practice with a hollow feeling as I head to the chemist to get more prescription drugs.

It’s talking and interacting with someone that I need and some novel, new interventions which do not involve prescription drugs. Talking and interaction is in short supply, however, and I cannot get an appointment with a counsellor.

One GP I asked to refer me to secondary health care wrote about me: “Consultations with this man are complex at the best of times and that is an understatement. He often presents with documentation relating to the internet and detailed letters detailing his symptoms. If in these letters you do not feel there is anything you can help him with I would be most grateful if you could advise him accordingly.”

Now I probably would have preferred dealing with a computer to dealing with him.

 

 

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