How Many Times Should You See Your Doctor?

How Many Times Should You See Your Doctor?

One thing that is positive is that doctors say old age isn’t necessarily about ill health.  They’ve found that even towards the end of our lives there is not necessarily years of agony.

But there is no doubt that often people who have been fit and well throughout their lives do find a need to visit the doctor more regularly as they get older.  Now there have been rumours that the government may cap the number of visits we can make to the doctor every year.  We should be quick to point out that this is only at the ‘consultation stage’ and has a long way to go before it can become law.

The document is also concerned about evening and weekend appointments considering them a luxury.

Dr Gerada, Chair of the Royal College of GPs, commented: “This was obviously written by someone who has never been unwell, or has never met people who work in the health service.” She said she would typically see an elderly patient 10 to 15 times a year, and patients with depression three to four times a month. Describing the idea of an annual limit as “very short-sighted”, she added: “People come because they are ill or because we are asking them to come because we are concerned about them. What we should do is fund general practice sufficiently so that we can offer flexible appointment times.”

Members of the Coalition have been asked to respond – either agreeing or disagreeing – to a number of questions on the document including:

  • “There should be no annual limit to the number of appointments patients can book to see their GP”.
  • “GPs should take greater responsibility for out-of-hours care in their area”
  • “Families should be responsible for the care of their infirm relatives”
  • “Open competition within the NHS is undesirable”.
  • Members are also asked whether NHS money should be moved from areas with the greatest need

The opposition commented that these changes fundamentally change the whole meaning of a National Health service.

The paper is said to be drawn up to support the Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt’s mission

  • To improve treatment and care of dementia patients and other long time conditions
  • And improve mortality rates for the big killer diseases


Technological advances

We’ve told you about 3D printing for prosthetic limbs before.  At a recent exhibition at the Science Museum the wonders of 3D printing were once more proclaimed.

3D printed robotic hand WIP

A robotic hand designed by a carpenter who lost four of his fingers was on display.  He has relinquished the rights to the design so that is available for anyone who needs a replacement hand.  There is also talk that it might be possible to recreate other body parts such as ears or teeth and even some organs.

Fabulous news – it’s a dream to be able to make replacement parts for the body relatively simply.  We bet it’s still expensive though!  The Exhibition: 3D Printing for the Future is on at the Science Museum, London until July 2014.

Thanks very much for reading.  Let us have your view in the comments especially about the prospect of limited appointments to see a doctor, and remember that here at StairliftsDoctor we won’t have any limits on someone helping you to choose the right stairlift.