1. We have the same problems over here in the UK. Basically, it’s the govt’s fault for pressurising health centres into being businesses rather than health care services. Our Drs are limited to 5 or 10 or 7 or whatever small amount of minutes has lately been stipulated as being sufficient for meeting, examining, diagnosing and treating each patient. It’s ludicrous. Even with continuity of care (being able to see the same doctor at each visit) it’s impossible to cover everything that both patient and doctor need to ask about.

    The paperwork thing is just another sad example of making a joyful vocation into financially accountable drudgery. No wonder so many doctors are unhappy with it. If our govts demand accountability, proof of targets being met, etc, then they need to provide our hospitals and practices and clinics with the right tech to facilitate that. They don’t. They make unrealistic demands and wonder why everyone, patients and doctors alike, is so unhappy with the system.

    In this country, it is now no longer enough for your primary care worker (your regular doctor, or GP over here) to write a sick note stating that you are chronically ill. The govt have their own separate dept who can and do over-ride the decision on the sick-note, even if it is a detailed report or letter to that dept. And the examiners in this department? Rarely doctors, sometimes physiotherapists, sometimes people with no medical qualifications at all.

    If I were a doctor, I would be insulted that my medical opinion counted for nothing. The govt here insult our doctors every single day by rejecting their opinion and burdening them with target-oriented paperwork and admin chores.

    The next thing they’re proposing to do here is to make doctors available 7 days a week, and at least 12 hours a day. We’ve always had Emergency Services (Out Of Hours Drs, the ER, etc) to cover the hours when a practice is closed. But because the emergency services are struggling due to govt cuts, the clever govt have decided to throw the ball back to the Dr’s surgeries (practices, health centres, clinics) and extend their availability to ease the pressure on the overburdened hospitals! How much sense does that make?

    I can see more and more doctors leaving, because this is not what they signed up for.

    Every damaging cut-back and burden our govts create causes more problems for patients and physicians alike. If you’re chronically ill, it affects you even more. We need the time of someone who wants us to get well, and needs to go into depth about our history and management of our illnesses. They have no idea how long it takes a doctor to get familiar with our illnesses, or how long it takes us to build a good relationship with a good doctor. Currently, in the UK, they tell you there is no guarantee of seeing the same doctor every time. In fact, the section on official forms that used to say “List your GP here” has been changed to “Who is your usual doctor?” Apparently, we are no longer allowed to say we have a specific GP. We’re supposed to be happy with seeing anyone in our practice.

    All of this – the shortened appointment duration, the lack of continuity of care, the amount of paperwork we cause them – probably matters less if you have an acute, easily diagnosed condition, because those can be diagnosed, scripted and written up quickly. But for the chronically, complicatedly ill amongst us, the system sucks big time.

    L. X

    Liked by 2 people

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