Response to General Practitioner Services, in New Zealand

General Practitioners NZ

I had a GP that was awesome. She left her practice about 10 years ago. By default, my GP became another one that was in the same Medical Centre as her.

To find a new GP is near impossible. The waiting lists for ‘new intakes’ are years long and the ‘on call’ or emergency ones are quick and nasty.

I have my name down for a new GP, and have been waiting for a place with him for nearly 5 years.

So I remain with the GP I have.

He is great when it comes to writing prescriptions and a friendly chat.

As for timeframes and getting things done, not so much.

As far as accurate diagnosis; not so much.

I have been prescribed a string of medications for depression, anxiety, vertigo, chronic depression, insomnia, smoking, allergies and more depression.

In hindsight, they’ve all been inaccurate scripts for inaccurate illnesses.

My first and major red flag came when I was given sleeping pills (benzodiazepines) for insomnia, vertigo and depression; along with a few other tid bits. They should have been temporary, but were prescribed repeatedly for years.

Until I googled them one day and found out that this particular strain of sleeping pill should only be prescribed temporarily (not longer than 6 months) and exasperated anxiety.

When I confronted my GP, he said “You wanted them”.

What I actually wanted was help.

The second red flag came when ACC requested my file. After signing the papers, it took just over 18 months for the Medical Centre to send the file to ACC.

This held up accurate diagnosis and accurate treatment.

ACC were just as slow. It took them 12 months to let me know, after I asked, (and at that stage it was near impossible for me to talk on the phone to anyone) what the hold up was.

And now I wait for forms to be filled out by the same GP, so ACC can LOOK at reassessing my Independence Allowance. I have been waiting close to 2 months for those forms now. I have requested that they be returned so I can take them to the emergency GP and have them signed, and was told it was in my best interests to wait.

“The profession of medicine has a duty to maintain and improve the health and wellbeing of the people, and to reduce the impact of disease. Its knowledge and consciousness must be directed to these ends. The medical profession has a social contract with its community. In return for the trust patients and the community place in doctors, ethical codes are produced to guide the profession and protect patients.

  • Notes: “Doctors should ensure that information is recorded in an accurate and timely manner. “
  • Notes: “When requested or when need is apparent, doctors should provide patients with information required to enable them to receive benefits to which they may be entitled. “

https://www.nzma.org.nz/publications/code-of-ethics

My concern is how long does a GP believe is a ‘timely manner’ and what do they deem to be accurate? Is 18 months timely? Or even 2 months? Are 2 misdiagnosis accurate enough, or does it take 3 or 4?

It’s a frustrating situation to be in and I know I am not alone.

There is a great deal of faith put in a GP and for good reason. So when they don’t abide their own Code of Ethics what is a patient supposed to do?

Go to ‘The Health and Disability Commission’ apparently.

But similar to the ACC review board, the irony is painfully clear.

If you are a client of ACCs and require a GPs assistance regularly, then you are probably unwell, and vulnerable.

Why is that so difficult for these people to understand?

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