A diagnosis over the phone?

LAST November I was hospitalised with a chest infection which has never really cleared up and earlier this year I visited my specialist who examined me and gave me some new meds in the shape of what I call a puffer.

It’s what you have if you are an asthma sufferer which she said I wasn’t. It hasn’t really done the trick and I’ve been getting very wheezy again. I have private insurance so I rang and they gave me an appointment for the following week. The day before my appointment I got a call saying that my specialist was not doing in-person appointments and would call the next day between 8.30am and 1pm.

My doctor did call the next day and asked me what the problem was. I said the main problem is that you are going to try and diagnose me over the ‘phone and charge me handsomely for the privilege. She said that she wasn’t seeing any patients in person at the moment and of course, as she is a neumologist she is dealing with Covid patients.

So I said what about all the people that don’t have Covid? How are you going to examine them over the ‘phone? How do you do X-rays, blood tests or even just have a listen?

This is where it got interesting. She said that if I felt ill I should go to A & E and they would do all the tests there. I asked why she couldn’t arrange that and she said the hospital doesn’t want people coming there, queuing at reception and hanging around the waiting area even though they have a mask policy, social distancing and sanitiser everywhere. She said it wasn’t her decision but the hospital administrators.

They felt, as A & E was using full PPE, that was the correct way to do things. She then said I should get a new puffer and maybe some antibiotics. I said are you really prescribing medicine to me over the ‘phone? So there you have it folks – meds prescribed over the ‘phone. I’m glad it wasn’t my prostate doctor. Gawd knows what he would have asked me to do with my ‘phone. Mind you, by the end of my chat with my chest doctor, I think she was about to suggest the same thing!

In all seriousness I think if your present system doesn’t work because of Covid, find one that does!!

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Written by

Mike Senker

In my opinion Views of a Grumpy Old Man [email protected]


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