Why can't I get in to see the same doctor all the time when I want to?
General Practice has changed from the "old days" where you had one doctor working alone who was the only doctor you ever saw. Today, most practices work as a team. This is because a lot of doctors choose to work part time and also because of the nationwide shortage of general practitioners. We try to give an appointment with the doctor of your choice but this is not always possible at short notice. However, we try our utmost to ensure there is a doctor available on the day you ring especially if you have an urgent problem.
The advantage of a team approach is that you often get a different opinion or new perspective on your problems. The doctors all meet as a team and discuss cases, this is part of maintaining continuity of care. Your medical records are fully available to whichever doctor you see so they have all your information at hand.
Why do the doctors run late sometimes?
We understand that your time is as precious as ours and how frustrating it can be to be kept waiting. We try our very best to run to time but sometimes this is just not possible. If doctors only saw two people per hour this would probably never happen but the cost to patients visiting a doctor would have to increase accordingly. There would also be even longer waiting times to get to see your doctor.
Most doctors book consultations at 15 minute intervals to keep the cost of visiting the doctor down. Experience shows this is usually adequate time to sort out the majority of presenting problems. However, patients bringing in long lists to be sorted, complex illnesses or serious issues can all take longer. Emergencies such as admitting patients to hospital or patients who arrive acutely with no appointment can cause unforseen delays. Arriving late for your appointment can also cause delays for the next person and so on. (Please phone if you are running late).
Things that patients can do to help are to bring no more than one or two problems per consultation. If you have multiple problems or one you think may be complicated, it is advisable to book a double appointment. Problems such as headaches, dizziness, gynaecological issues, assessment of dementia and symptoms that have been present for a long time are some examples of issues that usually take the full 15 minutes by themselves. Additional problems are really not able to be dealt with properly and thoroughly in one visit.
Can I ring for a repeat prescription?
You may ring for a prescription for certain items. This is at the discretion of the prescribing doctor. We have a repeat prescription policy which we adhere to for your safety. The details of this policy are available from reception or follow the link. There is a charge to cover the costs involved since your notes have to be checked by the doctor before any item can be dispensed and there is time spent by the reception staff to process the request.
You can also request a repeat prescription on our website via our online form