Thursday, August 16, 2007

An expensive visit.

I have just been to my GP to have my ankle checked out. She looked at it, felt it and said, 'hummm.'
Then she said 'you'll need to get it X-rayed.'
Then she charged me 60 Euros.
The end.


Coming up next week, will fatmammycat get an appointment with a hospital for an X-ray this side of Christmas? Or will the fact that they 'close' at 4:30 play any part in her efforts. Stay tuned and find out.

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18 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

You can get VHI for a mere 40 dollars a month, you should have it all ready anyway, particularly with marathon training tut tut. Ring them get it & then drop your letter into the hospital, you'll have an appointment in two weeks.

5:45 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Lemmie see how long it takes to get an appointment first. I'm not paying the VHI jack shit. I was with them before and they can go lick The bigger of the Cat's hole.
Why don't GP's have x-rays here anyway, they did in Spain.

5:48 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

'I'm not paying the VHI jack shit. I was with them before and they can go lick The bigger of the Cat's hole'

Sorry maybe its just been a very long day for me (since 4.30 this morning) but i don't know what you mean? Anyway i'm sure those clinic things do X-rays you know there is one at the back of Grafton St and if your a southsider like me there is a new one in Walkinstown, i live in Terrenure-ish and think the latter is the nearest

5:59 p.m.  
Blogger finn said...

that's it?? no opinion on why it hurt more to walk than jog?? no take on why it waited 'til the last K to fire up today? does your GP understand athletes?

oh well. at least you're ONE step closer to an answer.

6:40 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

She thought there was some new bone growth and that maybe my achilles had come away from the bone taking a bit of bone with it, but she couldn't be sure, so she wrote me a cute little note, warned me to tell 'em on the phone that I have an 'injury' or it might take weeks and good luck.
No, she knows absolutely nothing at all about athletes, what gave it away?

Walkinstown eh Nonny? Where abouts?
About the VHI, I was with them years ago and I got very shoddy treatment so I said fine, never again.

6:58 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey, i will get the address for you when i go home i'm still in work half year and the likes. i don't have extensive knowledge of the facilities so i could be sending you on a wild goose chase, i'll get the number for you and you can check. Also with regard to the big bad VHI, I do a bit of running, when i moved i had to change gyms, on my first night in the lovely Carlisle my foot slipped of the bike i damaged my calf. i went to the doctor got a referal for the beacon, went two weeks later and got surgery the following month, back on track for the marathon. It's definitly worth considering. Also alternative VHI clinics such as http://www.vhi.ie/swiftcare/ give you an idea of the cost without VHI. Even if you don't have VHI you can still claim a % back at the end of the year.

9:20 p.m.  
Anonymous Green Ink said...

Works: walk straight into the x-ray dept and announce to the (inevitably) sassy girl working there that "they said downstairs for me to check the book for a slot". Then stab your finger at the first (inevitable) twenty minute empty slot for texting, playing cards, staring slackjawed out the window (delete as appropriate) and say "there, that's mine". Then make like you have a prescription on a stone tablet from God himself until you're seen. That's the thing about inefficient bureaucracies: they're so full of holes no-one knows what's going on. Works.

11:03 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Bless you green ink, bless your cotton socks.

11:15 p.m.  
Anonymous MacDara said...

FMC you make a great point,
dentists have x rays so why dont doctors .

Its all part of the conspiracy of keeping consultants rich. GP's tend to defer to them reather than treat patients.

In Lebanon you can go to a pharmacist for a diagnosis, a doctor is for serious things ans hospital for surgery and the system works well. thank fully I have only had to go the the Hospital once here when I fell in the shower and split my head open.

Was treated straight away by three dotors and two nurses I was the only patient.

$100 fee

8:44 a.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

It's keeping GPs in clover too since you need the buggers to refer you to someone.

10:20 a.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dentists are feckers too. Had a problem with the wisdom teeth, I knew there was a slight infection..dentist confirmed it..€50 for 20secs, few weeks later after infection clears up another €50 and then refers me to his favourite consultant/dental surgeon to get them all removed.
Need xray first..€50, that ok 'spose.
Get to consultant, agree that 4 wisdom teeth need to go, arrange date of surgery, find out everything is not fully covered on my VHI, too late as I've already seen the consultant and now owe him €300 for impending surgery.
Find out I will also owe the clinic where surgery is taking place €200 the day before the surgery. Altogether, even being covered by VHI, the whole teeth removal thing costs me around €650 - €750 including prescriptions for meds etc...What the fuck, screwed by dental buddies and VHI? Sorry for the rant, Have to say great blog fmc.

10:22 a.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Why cheers. I hate dentists and am always delighted to read other folk bitch about them.

10:27 a.m.  
Anonymous PinkPanther said...

Even if GPs did possess Xray machines, one has to be a qualified radiologist to read the Xrays, sure some basic things may be visible but medicolegally if they diagnose the easily visible ankle fracture but are not trained enough to see the early signs of osteopaenia or perhaps a bony tumour then they are in court and sued and in the papers. To become a radiologist takes up to 7 years postgraduate (one must do a 5-6 year medical degree first) of 60+ hour weeks AFTER one has done 2 years basic hospital training (also postgraduate) to get onto the radiology training scheme in the first place. A little much to expect of a GP or indeed anyone who isn't intending to become a radiologist. Dentists, as they only deal with one part of the body, are taught to read Xrays of most types of common dental pathology in dental school. Even then some require a maxillofacial surgeon's input.
As an aside, how would or could your GP know if there was a bony problem with your foot that was not causing gross deformity? They don't have Xray eyes...

8:48 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Is it too much?
I lived in Barcelona and most small clinics over there had someone who could perform an x-ray on staff. Maybe they only worked two days a week or two evenings, but they were there and appointments were quick and easy to get. It also cut down on the slew of people who went to the general hospitals, leaving them to deal with the very ill. My clinic even had a small lab where blood samples could be studied on site, so sending away for results. It also had an ultrasound machine.
It was quick effiecent and well run.
If they can do it, why can't we?

9:14 p.m.  
Anonymous PinkPanther said...

Did they just perform an Xray, as in take the Xray picture, or did they perform it and give you an official report following review by a trained radiologist? To most laypeople, a doctor is a doctor is a doctor, they all tend to think that all docs do all doctor type things. I can see what you're saying, if the GP surgery had an actual Xray machine on site, and a radiographer to take the Xrays then at least the Xray would be done and they could perhaps have an arrangement with the nearest hospital to send the films for reporting by a radiologist. However, the sheer amount of money this would entail per surgery would be huge, the Xray machines initial costs plus maintentance, paying radiographer salaries, they make more than junior docs by the way, paying the radiologist for professional services, extra insurance to cover staff and patients for exposure to Xrays. In Spain, indeed in most other countries, the government can fund these things, here apparently, despite BILLIONS taken in on stamp duty alone, they cannot.
Before anyone says, "Well GPs should have to pay for it all, it's for their business etc etc", the cost of the above would run into likely a couple hundred thousand per year. While you as a private paying patient pay a fee of 60 euro a visit, remember, the majority of GP visits are medical card holders. Essentially the GP is paid a set fee per card holding patient per year, regardless of how many times the patient uses the service and resources, regardless of how many housecalls they request etc. During my brief stint as a GP I would say that upwards of 70% of all patients I saw were GMS, the remaining being either E111 or private paying. In summary, Irish GPs would not have the funds to implement the above, though most would want to, remember it's extra work for the doc to go chasing your Xray result once it's been done and reported, and results in huge delays for them as well as you. If the Government would fund primary care properly in Ireland, you would get a better service.

2:01 p.m.  
Blogger Dr. James McInerney said...

I went to see a GP a year ago with a problem in my eye. He said he didn't know what was wrong and charged me 60 Euro.

Next, I went to the pub and asked for a pint of Guinness. They told me they didn't have any and they charged me 3.60.

Only one of those two stories is real, although both are based on the same idea - charging for nothing.

In case you are wondering, the first story is in fact the one that is true. Completely true. I have since gone blind*.


*might not have gone blind.

2:55 p.m.  
Anonymous Dr.A.Nother said...

Did he refer you to anywhere/anyone who might know? Did he prescribe anything to alleviate symptoms/empirically treat? What turned out to be wrong with your eye in the end? You may or may not have grounds to make a complaint based on the answers to the above.

4:09 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Shit, I don't fully BLAME the GP, Pink. My doc herself thinks the whole shebang is on its last legs. But I'm still out 60 smackeroos and no closer to an idea of what's wrong. Although I did manage to get an apt for an x-ray on saturday morning.
In Spain I can't remember if I got the x-ray results there and then or it I had to return for them the following day, but I did get my x-ray done on site. I remember thinking the whole set up was terrific.
I shall place the blame squarely where it should lie, the god damn government.

6:16 p.m.  

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