Waiting times! Do you have to wait too long to get an appointment to see your family doctor?


How long to you have to wait to see a doctor?
How long to you have to wait to see a doctor?
One of the features of getting older is that you develop the feeling that the whole country has gone to the dogs. Also the kinds of music your children listen puts your teeth on edge. But that is a different matter.

Another is the feeling that it takes longer and longer to get an appointment to see your family doctor. (Or GP or Primary care physician). Indeed according to the UK’s Daily Mail one can often wait two to there weeks for an appointment. But according to official guidelines we should be aiming at a 2 day wait.

So something seems to be going wrong. But what and where?

To help answer this question we would love your help.

Firstly it would be super if you could participate in the poll below which asks if you feel that these days you are waiting too long for a doctors appointment.

Secondly it would be great if you could use the comment box to share some of the reasons behind your answer and also how you think the situation could be improved.

Many thanks in advance.



Would you be happy to get medical advice from a Physician associate as opposed to a fully trained Doctor?


Would you be happy to get medical advice from a Physician associate as opposed to a fully trained Doctor?
Would you be happy to get medical advice from a Physician associate as opposed to a fully trained Doctor?
In an idle moment this morning I found myself skimming through the BBC News’s website’s section on health. The BBC it seems have closed down is more generic health section. Does anyone know why?

Anyhow my beady eyes spotted the following article entitled “NHS plans rapid expansion of ‘doctor’s assistant’ jobs”. Now my first reaction was – “How many job titles does a healthcare system need?” as ‘doctor’s assistant’ is a new one for me.

In fact it turns out that the name ‘doctor’s assistant’ may come as a surprise to the NHS as well because they call it on their website “Physician associate”. They also mention it was previously called physician assistants.

Now in that context I have heard of them but don’t live in an area where they operate so have never spotted one in the flesh. According to the NHS Career’s website “Physician associates support doctors in the diagnosis and management of patients. They are trained to perform a number of roles including:

taking medical histories
performing examinations
diagnosing illnesses
analysing test results
developing management plans.
They work under the direct supervision of a doctor.”

Furthermore they are normally science graduates and them undergo two years training.

My initial thought was that this job function may well prove to be a “good thing” given the long waiting times to actually see a doctor. But on further reflection it occurred to me that the job could be seem as have trained doctors on the cheap.

As I say I’m in two minds so I thought I would through the discussion over to our readers. My question is simple (perhaps too simple). Would you be happy to get medical advice from a Physician associate as opposed to a fully trained Doctor?

I’ve set up up a poll below for you to share you view. But please do feel free to add any thing else to the comments section below on the subject of this any any other healthcare reform!