Doing things differently.
- May 4, 2009
Talking with the guy I rent an apartment from in Mallorca he told me that when he wants to see his doctor he just rocks up at the cafe where gets his coffee and has a chat across the table. Yes a proper cconsultation costs you. But these informal chats are free and the doctor is OK with that.My GP doesn't have a receptionist, or a nurse or an adminstrator or an office manager. She has two rooms, a waiting room and her office/clinical area. She shares a phone answering service with other doctors.
When I phone I will be asked if is urgent, if it is I will probably get an appointment same or next day, otherwise I may have to wait two days. Once I am in with her we can talk about as many problems as I like, my visits last on average 30-45mins.
If I need a blood test, she writes a request. When I leave I take the request around the corner to the laboratory where they take the blood If it is before lunch I will get the results online by 6pm that evening. My Dr will be copied in, but they are my results.
If I need a referral, etc., the Dr phones and makes the appointment.
Of course, all of this has to be paid for. Prices are set by the government and a GP consultation is €25, payable at the time. If you are registered on the system and carry a smart card, then €18 will be refunded directly into my bank account within 2-3 days. This is covered by my earnings based social security payments. If I wish I can take out voluntary private insurance to cover the difference between the cost and the refund. If I couldn't afford to pay the Dr would see and treat me just the same. It's the law.
I don't pay anything anyway, because I am diabetic.
It is a very complicated system, but not for the patient.
Charging for a consultation might put off the perennial re-bookers. The Boss tells of patients who, if they don't get what they want from one GP comes out from the consultation and re-books with another. Eventually they see a GP who gives in and prescribes whatever the patient was wanting, usually antibiotics for a cold (they do nothing).
Am I right in thinking that in France you get your medical notes on disk so you can take them to any GP? My GP has not got round to allowing me to see my notes online as I am supposed to be able to do via the NHS app.