Tuesday, 16 January 2007


General Practitioners (GPs) now earn on average £120,000 per year. I gather the level of pay rise they received was all a mistake. They were meant to get 2% but got double. Because they were only going to get a 2% pay rise, as compensation the Government agreed to cut their working hours. As it turned out they doubled their salary and halved the hours they work.

In the good old days GPs’ really earned their salary. Morning and evening surgery, house visits during the day and call outs during the night. As a child I dreaded visiting the Doctors surgery. In those days they didn’t have an appointment system, you had to wait your turn. Quite a complicated process in a practice with seven doctors. First you had to identify who was waiting to see the same doctor, and your position in the queue.

“Are you waiting to see Doctor Williams?”, “No”,

“Are you waiting to see Doctor Williams?”, “Yes”.

“Good, then I’m before you and after that man sitting over there”.

Going to the surgery was like being sucked into a Black-hole, you really never knew when or if you would get out again.

But as I said in those days Doctors really worked hard. A Doctor was even more than being ‘Your Doctor’ he, and it was predominantly he, was ‘the Family Doctor’. He would have been there at your birth, when you had measels, mumps and chickenpox. If you had been taken ill at 2.00am he would be there uncomplainingly to comfort you.

How things have changed. Now you are never sure which doctor you will see. Yes you can make an appointment to see a specific doctor, but you will have to wait up to a week or more. Go to the surgery,

“I’d like to make an appointment to see Dr Blake”, “He’s away for four weeks holiday”.

Phone up to speak to him, “sorry he doesn’t work on Thursdays”. If you do manage to see him, the treatment you get, well I call it treatment, is laughable.

“Well I see you had no problem climbing up the stairs to see me”.

“Can’t be anything serious”.

“If things don’t improve in three weeks, make an appointment to see me again”

“If you get pain, take an Asprin”.

“Goodmorning, send the next patient in”.

What happens to those patients who cannot climb the stairs to the doctors consulting room? Simple, the receptionist gives them a list of Funeral Directors.

Two o’clock in the morning, gasping for breath, at deaths door, you phone the doctor. An answering machine gives you a telephone number of an agency who provides out of hours cover. You phone, give your symptoms. Your given a choice:

  • Take an Asprin, and hope you survive until the morning, to go to the surgery.
  • Call an ambulance to take you to an A&E Department, there you wait 4 hours to see a doctor, who tells you to take an Asprin, and go and see your own doctor.

You could insist that the doctor makes a house call. Three hours later he turns up, gives you an Asprin and tells you to go and see your own doctor in the morning.

I suppose I should be grateful I can still climb the stairs to the consulting room.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Nice Blog . I don't really know a lot about Human Anatomy study or art, but that's just my 2 cents. Really great job though, Krudman! Keep up the good work!