The line to see your GP is only getting worse… 94



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We’ve all been there before… Waiting for hours at the Doctor’s office for our appointment while the line just seems to get longer and longer. And it looks as though the problem is only getting worse.

Last year one in five Australians reported waiting for an extraordinarily long time to get in to see their GP, while one in 20 said they put of going to the doctor all together because of the queues and the cost.

The wait time at some GP offices has become so long that patients who need care are being turned away and sent to hospital emergency departments instead – and things aren’t much better there. Around 2.8 million Australians were forced to go hospital instead of their GP last year and patients who required urgent care reported waiting between four and 24 hours to see an emergency doctor.

The wait times aren’t just inconvenient for patients, they can be life-threatening too. Last year a baby died in a Brisbane hospital while waiting for a bed so it could have a vital lung operation.

Many Australians are calling for more to be done to tackle this issue before it gets any worse and before the line gets too long.

What’s the longest you’ve ever had to wait for a doctor? How should the government fix this problem?

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  1. I must be very lucky because if I ring for an appointment, I can usually get an appointment for the next day and if it is urgent they always make an effort to fit you in as soon as possible that day.

  2. We live in the country and were always waiting to see doctors with one doctor telling my husband and I that we were lucky we only had to wait for an hour, that was the straw, we changed clinics and now only wait maximum of 10 minutes for much nicer and better doctors

  3. I live in a regional area. We need to make an appointment 7 days in advance, by then you are either better or dead.

    6 REPLY
  4. If I rang today and wanted an appointment with my doctor this afternoon, that might be difficult but I go a Medical Center and even though I could not see my doctor , I could see another doctor on the same day as I rang. By the way it has a plaque on the wall from Julia Gillard 🙂

  5. you can’t get a same day appointment to see my doctor sometimes it’s a few days wait. So if I need an emergency appointment I will make an appointment at our local medical centre.

  6. Have a wonderful local practice. Try to make my appointments a day or so ahead for general visits and if in need, am given an appointment as soon as practical. The only time I waited long past my appointed time was when I asked for a young mum with two sick children to go ahead of me. It took nearly an hour and one of the little ones was sent to hospital. I saw caring and concern from all during this time – and the quiet sit did me no harm whatsoever! It seems that good practice management is the key.

  7. When I moved I explained to the new surgery about my condition and the sort of doctor I needed and they were very accomodating. If I need an appointment, they are very helpful in getting me one by the next day at the latest. I see the same doctor each time unless circumstances are unavoidable and that has happened only once in a year and a half. I usually don’t have to wait any longer than ten minutes for my appointment and my doctor checks everything. However when I was taken to hospital when I developed DVT and became very ill very quickly, I waited nine hours before admitted and although I saw the resident on duty in the first hour, I was not given treatment for seven hours and by the time they got to wanting to scan my leg, the X-ray department was closed – yes in an emergency department. By this time my leg had become enormous and I had a part of the blood clot go to my lungs. So I don’t have a problem with my doctor but I do with ER at the hospital.

    2 REPLY
    • Had exactly the same thi g happen to me Fran Spears. No help in emergency and after 10 hours with shocking leg clot had gone to lung.

    • ER last week had a frail 94 year old laying on the floor vomiting because there was nowhere to put her! My GP’s are very good but yesterday had to wait an hour as they were one doctor down.

  8. If i wait more than 20 minutes to see my gp of choice, depending on why i’m going, i tend to rebook, as i reckon hes already under pressure and my apt will probably be rushed. If its urgent will see one of the partners. Waited 3 hours for an ophthalmology apt but needed to be seen “eyes” are more important than being “unwell”.

  9. I can usually see my doctor on the same day, the other doctors there are very good also so I can see one of them if I can’t see my regular doctor

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