I am not sure whether our membership of the EU has impacted either way on our access to healthcare.
Brexiteers would have it that GPs were more accessible before we joined the EU. Pro-Europeans would try to convince us that without our membership of the European juggernaut, we would have even health provision than we have now.
All I know is that my GPs’ surgery will no longer allow me to make an appointment for a future date online or on the phone. Appointments are only available on the day, by phoning the surgery at 8am.
And we all know that the likelihood of getting through as the second hand sweeps past the number 12 at 8 am is less than the likelihood of England beating Germany on penalties.
Yes, it could happen, but don’t bet your pension on it. Bear in mind that in order to visit the doctor, many people would have to book a day off work. Imagine you had done that and the phone call lottery for you to make your non-urgent appointment failed to result in success.
The alternative is to do what someone I know whose doctors have a similar restriction recently did.
Turn up at the surgery at 8am and pre-empt the phone. Seven or eight people got there ahead of her and she only just succeeded. I don’t think that this is what Aneurin Bevan had in mind. Especially as only those physically capable of getting themselves on the doctors’ doorsteps at 8am stand a fighting chance of seeing a doctor. Well of course they don’t want the halt, the lame and the unfit cluttering up the waiting room do they? Makes the place look untidy.
And then there is the matter of compliance with nonsensical regulations designed not to help us but to avoid litigation. When I visited my consultant, until recently I would pop my appointment letter in a box outside his door. Now the boxes have gone from Wycombe outpatients department and a free for all has ensued. Why? ‘Data protection concerns’ apparently.
The letter contains my name and the time of my appointment. Any would-be data purloiner can see me sitting there waiting and if they can tell the time will have a pretty good idea about when my appointment is. Who on earth could derive a benefit from peeping at the letters in full view of a queue of bored people.