Sunday, August 2, 2009

Waiting for my turn at the doctor's

Doctors have different ways of calling in patients.

The best way is when they give you an appointment and see you at that time. There is not much waiting. There might be a delay because some patient took more time to see but pretty much you get to see the doc around that time.

The other most common way is when the doc is available during a particular time period and you have to go around that time. The problem is the amount of time you have to wait depends on how many people reached before you. This is the worst form. You have no idea when to go. And usually you have to wait for atleast an hour. If you want to be the first to see the doc, you have to reach about an hour before he is expected to come and if you don't reach before he comes, then there are enough patients before you that will easily take up a whole lot of time!

At a famous corporate hospital, one of the docs I visit has absolutely no rules or system in place. Its literally a free-for-all. There is a lady who tries to bring in some order but she is not firm enough. Maybe she's just not interested enough. You have to just barge into the doc's room. There is no appointment, no order in which you came. Whoever has the gumption to go in gets his turn. At times, I have seen as many as three patients storm in at the same time and the doc having to ask two of them to wait outside! Is it really that difficult to put a system in place?

The cake, however, goes to a senior neph who is now no more. He would come out after seeing every patient to the waiting room and see who all were there. Then he would, at random, pick one patient and call him! No order, no appointments. For some reason, whenever I came alone, he would call me in as soon as he saw me. But whenever anyone accompanied me, he would call me after making me wait for atleast an hour!

The eccentricity of genius? Search me!

1 comment:

Dr.Hariharan Ramamurthy said...

this is true at almost every place in INDIA people who want to stand in a line for their turn are considered Naive.
the main reason why most physicians do not want to have an appointmetn system is because once an appointement is given that slot is taken and if a patietn doesnt turn up in USA they are charged irrespective of such an abscence and they have to pay unless patietn calls before 24 hours and in some cases 48 hours before to cancel.
how are we going to implement it in India

the only way would be to ask the patients to pay upfront for the visit how many would be willing to do this ?