Backup for NSW GPs?

As we’ve mentioned before, one of our readers claims that a GP he’d been seeing told him that one of the tests that had been carried out on him had turned up something which he described as a “life and death” matter, and gave him the names of 2 specialists he could refer him to for help – but when he emailed one of them asking if helping people with this particular problem was within her areas of expertise, she emailed back that it wasn’t, and when he emailed the other one with the same question, he emailed back saying that it wasn’t a “life and death” matter and not to worry about it!!!

(Our reader says he’s so grateful that the second specialist did this – it would have been so easy for him to reply, “Yes, it’s within my areas of expertise. Make an appointment to see me in a face-to-face consultation.” And when our reader did this, after going to the trouble of arranging and attending a face-to-face consultation, at a cost, no doubt, of 2 or 3 hundred dollars, being told the same thing as he was told in a 2 or 3 line email, which he had in writing, when, if he’d attended a face-to-face consultation, undoubtedly, he wouldn’t have ended up with anything in writing.)

Of course, GPs in NSW are cast in the role of knowing everything about everything, which of course is a nonsense. On the one hand we feel that it’s a scandal that many of them DO carry on as if they know everything about everything, when they don’t at all. But on the other hand, we feel sorry for them to the extent that they are expected to know everything about everything when, as far as we can find out, they have so little backup.

One of the things that modern technology makes possible is for there to be people who make a good living by being experts on what’s on the internet on various medical subjects, as, these days, there is more and more on the internet on everything – people who, for fees, provide us with the option of get them to tell us what the latest and best on the internet about various subjects, as an alternative to us doing the research ourselves. (We read recently that it’s claimed that more goes up on the internet in 2 days than used to go up in a whole year not so many years ago.)

One of the ironies of this is that there could be just as many GPs using the services of such people as people like you and I

There could be doctors doing this, just like the Barristers in the legal world who don’t see clients themselves but who specialise in providing opinions to Solicitors to help them in dealing with their clients. But, to us, this is unlikely – doctors are so wedded to the system than has being operating for hundreds of year, where they only deal with patients in face-to- face consultations and will fight tooth and nail to keep that system intact. To us, it’s much more likely that they will be people who don’t have formal medical qualifications, but who are highly intelligent, highly skilled lay people.

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