We’ve been working on finding the best people and organisations in the medical care industry and avoiding the people and organisations that are perhaps not the best for more than 12 years now, and easily the most important thing we’ve learnt in those 12 years is this – other things being equal, WE SHOULD ONLY USE THE PEOPLE AND ORGANISATIONS WHO ARE PREPARED TO PUT THINGS IN WRITING AND THOSE WHO ARE NOT PREPARED TO PUT THINGS IN WRTING SHOULD BE AVOIDED LIKE THE PLAGUE!!!.
This definitely applies to NSW GPs, but let us stress this – we’re not singling out NSW GPs in saying this, it applies to ALL people and organisations, it applies to garage mechanics, technology people, the “butcher, the baker, the candlestick maker,” as the old saying goes, everybody!
If only we, ourselves, had realised this years ago, our lives would have been so different and so much better!
Why? There are many reasons but the main one is that if people are prepared to put things in writing it means they’re prepared to stand by what they’ve said and/or done, and if they’re not prepared to put things in writing, it’s more than likely that they haven’t been sure themselves that what they’ve told you is right – that they’ve only been guessing! Or even that they’ve told you things that are wrong, because it makes them more money!!! of which we could give you examples.
How this applies to GPs is this. After you’ve had a face-to-face consultation with them, send them a letter along these lines – “In my face-to-face consultation with you, I understood you to say blah blah blah, blah blah blah, – have I left anything out?” And if they won’t provide you with at least a yes or no answer, avoid them like the plague.
We believe this also applies to NSW specialists. Of course, if you’ve seen a specialist on a referral by a GP, they will usually have put things in writing to the GP in a letter that’s available to you, but we still believe it’s better for you to send them a letter like the one we’ve described, so you’ve put questions in your own words.
Of course, if they’ve got an ordinary email address or even an email form, this makes sending them letters easy – but most NSW GPs don’t have of these. And often, even if they’ve only got a fax number, it’s more convenient to send a “snail mail” by Australia Post.
(Incidentally we believe that people and organisations that only have fax numbers and phone numbers in this day and age have to be joking! They aren’t for real! And also, incidentally, that there are lots of people and organisations out there, who, however you’ve sent them letters, even if they’ve got 10 ordinary email addresses and you’ve used them all, they will swear until they’re black and blue in the face that they never got them = and, of course, Sue Dawson, and her people at the NSW Health Care Complaints Commission will believe them and not you.)
Unfortunately, it seems to us that 20 or 30 or 40% of the time – of course, we’re only guessing – NSW GPs are telling patients things that even they are not sure are true. But, even if it’s 5% or even 2%, it’s your life and welfare that’s at stake – not theirs.