What happened to family doctor?

From: Rob Nash, Ironlatch Close, St Leonards

Owing to a bad pain in my leg, for the first time in many years I had to make an appointment with my Silverhill doctor. I wobbled in to the doctor and sat down only to be confronted with a large notice on his desk in front of me.

The notice roughly stated thus ‘My name is Dr so and so and you have been allocated 10 minutes of consulting time and it must be on one subject only’.

At first I thought I had a doctor with a sense of humour but it soon become obvious that in fact it was serious.

I quickly glanced at my watch and realised that already a minute had passed.

Eureka! I then realised why the problems with the A&E.

Patients were by-passing the so called family doctor and although they would have to wait three to four hours, when the actually met the doctor, no matter how long it took they would get a full consultation with no time limit. They might even get two doctors’ opinions and finally they would walk out with possible appointments for X-rays, scans etc and have prescriptions for pain killers if required.

Back at the surgery the doctor pounded away on the computer keyboard obviously seeking further info on my complaint.

Another furtive look on my watch and I suddenly thought; what if I run out of time?

Do I have to make a further series of 10 minute appointments? Not to worry, my time was up and the doctor said ‘Leave it with me and I will sort it’.

As I stumbled back to my waiting car I suddenly thought ‘What happened to the old family doctor who knew all the family by their Christian name and would sit on the side of the bed and discuss not only your problems but might ask how you were getting at school or work or the latest football results. Oh dear... nostalgia. In the near future I suppose there will be diagnostics by mobile phone.