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Thread: Getting a doctor's appointment!! ARRG..

  1. #1

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    Angry Getting a doctor's appointment!! ARRG..

    Hi everyone

    I'm not sure if you people from the city suffer from this - but the problem is rife in the country areas.

    If any of you have read a previous post of mine you'll know that Daniel is suffering from a fungal rash on the back of his knee, which I have been treating with Dactozin - recommended by the pharmacist.

    It has just not been getting any better and I have been trying desperately to get a doctor's appointment so that a doctor can look at it.



    You can't make appointments here days in advance. If you want a doctor's appointment you have to ring at 8:30am and try your luck every day. Mine (and Daniel's) luck is just not paying off. You can't even get past the receptionist and she doesn't seem to care about your son's rash that you want a doctor to have a look at. "You'll have to ring tomorrow at 8:30am again."

    I very rarely go to the doctor. Only for things like the pill, pregnancy and doctor's certs when having a day off work. I haven't been back to the dr since Daniel's six week check up - that was a while ago.

    From having been pg I know that there are "regulars" at the doctor's surgery who always seem to be able to get an appointment and have waiting rooms down on their resume's as a place to hang out - Professional doctor visitors.

    Today I rang again and the receptionist asked me - "what do you want to see the doctor for?" WHATT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!????? What business is it of yours???? I want to see a doctor as is my right to do. I reluctantly described the rash AGAIN and the receptionist said "I'll put you through to a nurse" to which I responded "so, there aren't any appointments available today?" - "I'll put you through to the nurse."

    I explained to the nurse the problem and that I would really like a doctor to have a look as I would like the problem to be fixed. She just did not seem to care that Daniel was 10 months old and said that if I gave her my phone number she'd call me if there were any cancellations during the day. By this time I saw red and I'm pretty sure I told her to go "sit on it" - then I hung up. Pretty rude on my part, but I know there are 6 doctors at the surgery and they couldn't fit me in for a 15 minute appointment?? I am so sick of persisting. I just burst in to tears out of pure frustration and came in here and tried to read posts. I couldn't even do that. I just picked up Daniel and went to Big W and bought a bean bag complete with 10 billion beans (WTF???? I'm not sure what's therapeutic about a bean bag and I didn't even really need one).

    I am sure that I am not the only person this happens to. What a shocking state of affairs our health system is in.

    Thanks, I've had my vent. Anyone else experience similar things? I would have though babies were primary in the great scheme of things. Apparently not.

  2. #2

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    Thats appalling.

    I don't understand how, if you are ringing at 8:30am, and that is the earliest you can ring, and there are 6 doctors, how you could possibly not get an appointment at all, on that day.
    I'd put the number in to your phone on speeddial and ring every minute from 8:15.
    I'd also be writing a complaint letter to them, and to your member, and opposition member of parliament

  3. #3

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    I'm sorry you have to deal with such crap when all you need is someone to take some time out - perhaps from a coffee break?? - to have a look at a baby's leg. The health system is suffering in the country, and something definitely needs to be done to fix it. We are lucky to be living in a "cityish" area, and when aricyn still had the runs after 3 days, I rang up in the morning for the local doc and got in straight away. But its easier here as there are about 7 docs clinics near where I live. My thoughts are with you guys, hang in there, hopefully you will get seen too soon.

  4. #4

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    Thank you both.

    rayray - the letter is written and sent. I wasn't kind.... my question is do the doctors know it's even happening??

    AM - one doctor's clinic in a large population is just ridiculous. There is another dr surgery, but he isn't taking on any new patients, he just doesn't have the capacity.

    You should try getting a dental appointment here!!! I'm lucky my uncle is an peridontist in Adelaide. I just go to him.

  5. #5

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    lestypuss!
    i completely understand! I also live in a rural setting and we have this problem as well.
    I experience it first hand as i worked in the emergency of our little rural hospital (it is little! lol only 27 beds).
    Our problem esculated as no doctors worked on the weekends up here! so you could imagine what the emergency department was like - and it suck because you have people yelling and screaming at you for having to wait 2 hours to see an emergency doctor for their daughters sniffles... it is just so hard as it is triaged and we have to treat the emergency cases first and the doctors surgeries can be useless.

    I know i would need to book at least 1 week in advance in the local gp's to get an appointment (at least we can book i guess not like yours).. which doesnt help when you need to see a dr now.

    And so people come to the emergency department frustrated and upset with the whole system.
    I really feel for you!

    TO make things worse i just heard that 2 of the local gps quit over a dispute so there is 2 less now in our town (the next town with doctors is a 300km round trip) and we cater for over 3000 in our town and the 300km radius around it which is another ten or so thousand plus all the backpackers that are thousands each week !!!

    bloody crazy!

  6. #6

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    that is so stupid u cant make an appt for ahead of time. i have been making mine a month in advance soi can get in at i time i want for my next antenatal check up.

  7. #7

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    Just frightening....... This affects everyone.

    There seems to be a lot of "out sourcing" of drs from other countries - which also poses a problem. When I do go to the dr, I can't understand what they're saying. I try to, but sometimes the language barrier is so difficult to get over. This is a common concern here as this discussion often comes up at work.

    My dad was having chest pain and couldn't get in either. So my mum wrote a letter to the head doctor at the surgery and he was in the next week. This is why I wonder if the drs know it is going on.

  8. #8

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    I had to get an appointment a few weeks ago - my DD was still really sick and lethargic more than two weeks after immunisations and I was really worried about her. When I rang asking for an appointment for my sick, six month old I was told sure, how about 9 January!!!! I got the nurse too when I said that wasn't good enough. I was pretty grumpy with her too and eventually got an appointment for the next morning. Told my doctor (who has been my GP since I was 11) and she was so upset. I know she's really busy (and I'm sure doctors in regional areas are just as busy), but surely they should be keeping at least some appointment times free each day for when people actually get sick!! I hope the letter works for you and you don't have the same problems in the future (and I hope your little boy's rash clears up)

  9. #9

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    Hi, I TOTALLY know what you mean!

    I had the same problem where i used to live when i first found out i was PG - I couldn't get an appointment for so long... Eventually i went into the surgery, marched up to the receptionist and said 'I have been trying to see a doctor for so long now that i'm just going to sit here until i get to see someone!.. I don't care if i have to stay all day, You can't leave me here all night can you?' I know that sounds drastic, but it worked and i got in straight away... after all that i ended up getting a doctor who barely spoke english and told me i didn't need any ultrasounds or blood tests and treated me like a moron for coming in without and illness, He measured my feet (for reasons i couldn't understand because of his thick accent) and told me not to eat peanut butter, and that was it.

    Thankfully we moved just after that and i have no problems here, I'm back in my hometown and seeing my family GP - She would bend over backwards to get me or Scarlet in to see her, as would the receptionist because they care

    It's so ridiculous hey? I hope you get in soon!

  10. #10

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    Measured your feet???? Oh, that is so unbelievable to be hilarious.

    I've stopped trying to get in.

    I called the parent help line and they said to try adult Canesten. I hope it works because I think this is the last thing before I am forced to be degraded again.

  11. #11

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    Hi Lestypuss,

    I'm so sorry you've had such a dreadful experience. I work in healthcare and have worked in a surgery type setting and can tell you from experience that if you front up in person, it is much harder to say no. if you chose to try your luck on the phone again or go in person, tell whomever it is you talk to that you have been trying for XYZ period to get an appointment for you son and that it is both inappropriate and unprofessional for them to keep telling you to call back the next day. If they put you through to the nurse again and you are again told to call back, tell them it is not their call to say your child does not need medical attention. As his mother, you feel his condition which has been treated by an over the counter product for X period of time at the advice of a pharmacist and is NOT responding but getting worse, warrants a consultation with the DOCTOR.

    If they continue to refuse to give you an appointment, request to talk to the practice manager. If the practice manager refuses to make you an appointment, ask what they suggest you do and will they take responsibility if your child's rash becomes infected or turns out to be something more serious.

    Make sure you record the details of who you speak to on what day and at what time as well as their response. Include this in the letter to the clinic and also send a copy to your local member and opposition.

    If you still have no luck getting an appointment, ask the pharmacist who advised you to use the cream to contact the surgery on your behalf. If they are willing to say that it needs to be looked at by a doctor, the receptionist may be more willing to listen to them as a qualified professional.

    You could also request to speak with one of the PARTNERS who will be a GP. I am sure they are appalled at the way their patients are being treated. Especially considering their oath and the reason most of them go into medicine.

    HTH and let us know how you go.

    MG

  12. #12

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    It's not just a rural thing.
    Imran has a referral for a surgeon and I rang for an appointment today and instead of being able to make one on the phone I have to fax the referral along with his name, DOB, my contact number and my husband's left testicle and then wait for them to contact me.
    What a stupid way to do 'business'.

  13. #13

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    lestypuss - I hope you have some positive feedback after they read the letter! That is absolutely diabolical. Not only should all practices provide extra appointments in a day, but all children should be a priority. At every practice I have been with my son, I have simply said "my baby is sick" and they have told me to come straight in. I am in the foruntate position of being in Sydney, but grew up in Country NSW and remember my mum on the phone 830 am pleading for an appointment. It terrible. I hope your bub is OK.

    On an entirely different note - after having an enormous chuckle over liddlepixies doctor measuring feet and telling no peanut butter - I started wondering about that. I have been eating peanut butter my whole pregnancy. Is he a crackpot or has anyone heard of not eating peanut butter.

    Oh well too late now I guess, having her in a week.

  14. #14

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    Wow Lestypuss, thats really quite apalling. I wonder why they dont let you make an appointment in advance? Thats stupid. If I were in that situation, I would go into the surgery and camp out all day until you get a Doctor to see you. They cant refuse you access to a doctor can they? I hope you caan see the doctor soon. Whenever I call my doctor for an appointment, I say 'its for my 9 month old daughter" and they make an effort to fit me in that day. Iam really surprised they arent more accomodating to you considering its for your 10 month old boy!! Oh yeah and the complaint letter is a great idea. Does your hospital have a GP clinic in it?

  15. #15

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    I hear ya hun!! When Oskar was 5 1/2 months old he was sick and I tried for 2 days to get him to the doctors but couldn't get in anywhere ... that was 4 different surgeries... when I finally got into one I was running late (because the electrician got to my house an hour late!!) and the receptionist told me I'd have to rebook.... until I let her have it!! I told her I wasn't taking no for an answer.. he's a baby and that's it! Turned out he had bronchiolitis and we ended up at the hospital. It is disgusting that we can't get our babies looked at more easily than that! On a note which may or may not help... Oskar had a fungal rash on his chin at the same time and the doc told me to put Daktagold twice a day - expensive but worked. I would do this for 2 or 3 days then give it a day or 2 off as I think it's strong stuff. Hope Daniel gets better fast!! to you.

  16. #16

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    Thanks for all of your replies.

    I am now treating Daniel's leg with Canesten on the recommendation of a nurse I work with. I still have not yet been able to get Daniel in to see a Dr and as far as I am concerned, they can go and jump.

    If I ever need to take him to see a Dr, I will be going to the emergency dept of the hospital and they can deal with it there.

    As far as the letter goes, I have heard nothing and don't expect to..... just despicable.

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