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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Is it usual everywhere to have to make an appointment in order to make an appointment?

Is it usual to have no direct contact with the local doctors by either phone or email etc?

In context - My doctor tells me to make an appointment at the hospital. But he tells me that if they can't make it soon enough to GO BACK TO HIM and he will chase it. I cant just phone him and say 'they cant do it for x time'. I have to actually make an appointment to see him, to tell him, so he can try to speed it up.

Last time this happened I was told the earliest appointment was 4 months away. This was for a potential melanoma. Not knowing about this system of having to go back to the doctor I thought that the phone number I had for medical stuff was his number, so I rang to tell him. Whoever I spoke to told me no they cant make it faster, despite the cancer scare. So I went private. I've since found out that was just the central Valencian bookings number, the only number I am given apart from one for emergencies.

This seems crazy, a waste of everyone's time, with repeat visits to the doctor just to make an appointment.

The same thing happens with blood tests. I had to have an appointment with the nurse in order to make an appointment with the same nurse 2 to 3 weeks later for the bloods to be taken. They only do it one morning a week. Hope its nothing serious!

So - is this usual? Is ALL contact via the central system and do you always have to have repeat appointments just to make appointments?
 

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How frustrating!

Each region has its own healthcare system and the procedures may differ. In Andalucia (at least where I live) hospital appointments are made by the receptionist at the Consultorio. The doctor gives you a slip of paper, you give it to the receptionist and he/she does it then and there.

Blood tests are done within the Consultorio and there is currently a two-week waiting list (they only come twice a week). You then make an appointment with the GP for a week later, to go over the results.

We dodn't have the facility to talk to the GP other than via an appointment. We can make appointments online, usually the next day but sometimes there is a slot the same day if you log on early enough. It's "usual" for people to pop in and talk to him in between the scheduled appointments.

Someone I know had a suspected melanoma a couple of years ago and got a fast track appointment to see the specialist. Can't remember how long but not much longer than a week. May be longer now, due to austerity/staff cuts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
When I say 'direct contact with the local doctors' I mean their office rather than the doctor his/herself. Ie is it usual for there to be no local receptionist/assistant/nurse taking phone calls and enquiries, telling you about results etc? It seems crazy to use up the doctors time with appointments for things that a phone call or email would sort. I have a poor immune system and am not enthralled with the idea of constantly sitting in waiting rooms.
 

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When I say 'direct contact with the local doctors' I mean their office rather than the doctor his/herself. Ie is it usual for there to be no local receptionist/assistant/nurse taking phone calls and enquiries, telling you about results etc? It seems crazy to use up the doctors time with appointments for things that a phone call or email would sort. I have a poor immune system and am not enthralled with the idea of constantly sitting in waiting rooms.
To be honest, receptionist etc even in the U.K. are not supposed to give out information regarding results. We can find our results via the internet with digital certificates and make appointments etc. Hospital waits are within the norm. I think it's very localality dependent
 

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Just in passing.

When I asked my doctor (in Andalucía) how I get to see a consultant in a shorter time, she said the next time I had the symptoms, go to the accident and emergences (Urgencias) at the Costa del Sol hospital and exaggerate the pains. When I said I understood that Urgencies was for emergencies only, she said, "That-s the way we do it in Spain."
 

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Just in passing.

When I asked my doctor (in Andalucía) how I get to see a consultant in a shorter time, she said the next time I had the symptoms, go to the accident and emergences (Urgencias) at the Costa del Sol hospital and exaggerate the pains. When I said I understood that Urgencies was for emergencies only, she said, "That-s the way we do it in Spain."
Exactly the same as we've been told here in Valencia - but it's simply not the 'British way' !
 

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If you do go to the Urgencias, prepare for a possible long wait. Take a book and even sandwiches and a drink.

A few days ago I spent over eight hours in urgencias to be told no treatment was required.

After waiting an hour for the informe (the doctors' report) to confirm nothing was required, and being told they had no idea how much long I would need to wait to get it, I gave up and left without it.

This in not the first time this has happened either.

As I said, so if you are not lucky, go prepared to wait and wait
 

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Exactly the same as we've been told here in Valencia - but it's simply not the 'British way' !
It was very much the British way when I left the NHS four years ago... a constant stream of people to A&E and minor injuries with colds, coughs, sore throats etc.( particularly out of hours) Very often patients would say, when asked why they don't go to GP! Can't get appointments for a few weeks..... it's not that unusual now
 

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It was very much the British way when I left the NHS four years ago... a constant stream of people to A&E and minor injuries with colds, coughs, sore throats etc.( particularly out of hours) Very often patients would say, when asked why they don't go to GP! Can't get appointments for a few weeks..... it's not that unusual now
That's what I was going to say - there are comments on the radio about this all the time!
 

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Scare stories in the news doesn't help either. Everyone seems to think their kids have meningitis or adults sepsis or other rare illnesses. No shortage of appointments here as long as you call by 8.30. Have been in the surgery when supposedly ill kids are tearing around.:roll eyes: If calling for a non urgent appointment would be about a week but if worried a GP phone call.
 
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