Friday, May 08, 2009

The Problem With Our Health Care System

This is going to be a rant, but it's not going to be a rant about the insurance companies or about socializing medicine. None of that political junk that gets everyone so heated up. 

No, this is about decency. 

Today I called the doctor's office to get an appointment to renew a prescription. It's one of those healthcare groups with five different doctors and two nurse practitioners. I've been going there for a few years when I had to go for urgent care. I've been seeing the same doctor there for the past year. Well, now she's gone, and I have to choose a new doctor. But there's nothing available until next week. 

I ask for a female doctor, and the receptionist gives me an appointment for May 20th. "That's not next week," I said. She tried to tell me it was, but then I said, no, this week isn't over until tomorrow, try again. Nothing. I can call Monday to see if there was a cancellation, but I can't wait that long. I have to get a sub for work. 

Eventually I end up going for a male doctor just so I can get my prescription next week. I admit--my fault for letting it go so long. The only thing available is morning--I prefer afternoon, because if I have to wait for THREE HOURS again, I won't worry about missing a class. So I go for a morning appointment and ask how long the wait is. 

"I can't tell you." 

WTH? She can't tell me because it's classified? What does the doctor do that early in the morning that I have to wait for over an hour? 

This is ridiculous. There's no reason why people who make an appointment for 8 have to wait hours to see the doctor for fifteen minutes. In any other profession, if a person fails to make an appointment, it's over. But because we have to see doctors, we're at their mercy. 

Don't tell me I have to be there at eight only to have to wait a few hours. Why not give me a 10 o'clock appointment when you'll see me? 

No wonder we put off going to see the doctor. Oh, and a letter to all of my doctor's patients when she moved would have been nice. Jerks. 

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