Patient Info » FAQs
The following are answers to the most frequently asked questions.
Do you provide home visits?
Home visits are arranged in special circumstances only. Usually, we ask patients to attend the medical centre as it is fully equipped.
Do I have to pay on the day of consultation?
Yes, our policy is to receive payment on the day of consultation. However, if you have a genuine reason for not being able to pay, then please speak to the receptionist and we can discuss alternative payment options available. In some circumstances, we may be able to access government funding rather than charging a fee.
How long is each consultation?
Standard consultations are about 15 minutes long. This includes referrals to a specialist or making phone calls on behalf of patients, prescribing medications and entering computer notes of the consultation.
What if I have a list of things and need more time?
If you feel you need more time with the doctor, please let the receptionist know when you are booking your appointment so we can allow more time. Please note, you usually have to pay more for longer consults.
If you have a list let the doctor know at the start of the consultation so issues can be prioritised. If there is not enough time to discuss everything within the 15 minutes, you may be asked to make another appointment. It is important that enough time is allowed to deal with multiple issues so that all your conditions are resolved or treated appropriately. Usually, this will attract further consultation fees, although in some circumstances we may be able to obtain government funding. Please ask.
I don’t come to the GP often. Why can’t I spend more time to discuss all my issues?
We try to talk about and manage as much as we can in a single consultation. However, there are other people waiting so we may not be able to deal with all your issues in 1 appointment. If you have a list of things, see the above answer.
When is the best time to make an appointment?
Mondays and Fridays, and the first days after a long weekend are our busiest days. Thursdays are our least busiest day. Try to avoid ringing first thing in the morning (8am on weekdays and 9am on Saturdays) as we are usually inundated with calls at that time.
Can I be seen urgently?
Urgent appointments will always be seen as soon as possible. We have a triage nurse who will assess the severity of your condition. Conditions that we consider urgent include uncontrollable bleeding, shortness of breath, severe chest pain, head injury, and (in the case of a child), high fever with a rash.
Why have I been waiting to be seen? My appointment was 30 minutes ago.
There are many reasons why the doctor or nurse may be running late. Unfortunately, solving your health problems is not always a simple and straightforward matter. Some people may take longer than others. The patient before you may have been very unwell with multiple complicated conditions requiring more time, which we could not foresee before the appointment. Or, we had to deal with an emergency situation.
Remember, one day you may be the person who needs more time with the doctor.
Please allow plenty of time when you book your appointment to allow for the fact that the doctor may fall behind. If you are pushed for time, let the receptionist know so we can reschedule you with another doctor or organise another time.
Is your time more important than mine that I have been waiting so long?
No doctor or nurse feels their time is more valuable than the patient’s time. We do try to keep to time. However, as mentioned above, one’s health is not always a simple and straightforward matter, and situations arise which we cannot forsee.
I am only 5 minutes late. Surely this is not an issue as my doctor is always running behind?
If lots of patients attend late for their appointment your GP is then automatically running late for patients later in the day. The GP is not always running behind.
Can I fit in other family members at the one appointment?
Please help us organise our time better by letting us know if you want to book in for more than one person. Trying to squeeze another person in for the same appointment will not make the consultations cheaper. You will be charged for the extra consultations. Fitting in more than one person into a single appointment is also one of the reasons that the doctor runs behind schedule. This in turn, annoys the patients who are scheduled after you.
Why is my GP asking me what is wrong? Doesn’t he/she know? I just want a diagnosis.
If the doctor asks a question like “What do you think may be causing your symptoms”, it isn’t because he/she wants you to self-diagnose. You may have have ideas about what you feel may be causing your symptoms or condition. It helps us to understand how much you know about your health condition so we can advise accordingly. If we don’t know what you think may be causing your symptoms you may leave the consultation feeling that your questions haven’t been answered or that you believe it is something else.
Why does my GP ask so many questions rather than just tell me what is wrong?
Doctors reach a diagnosis based on information gathered from the patient. Therefore it is important that we gather as much relevant information as necessary. Most diagnosis is made by talking to you.
Why does the GP looks up drug doses. Shouldn’t he/she know?
We can’t remember all drugs doses and sometimes have to look these up. Sometimes, we have to calculate doses based on weight or age of the patient.
I have been asked to come back for a follow up. Should I?
Yes. If your GP feels you should attend again to review your condition it is important to do this in case things haven’t improved, or there has been a change to your condition, or to discuss blood results and new diagnosis. If you have a condition that needs ongoing management, it is important to have follow up for this.
I came back a few weeks later and another GP said I had something else? Was I misdiagnosed?
Not necessarily. Symptoms evolve. We can only base our diagnosis on what you present with at the time of seeing us. Symptoms and conditions can develop and change over time.
I came about my sore foot. Why am I having my BP taken or asked about smoking or if I am up to date with my smears?
We may try to opportunistically help with health promotion. You may not attend to see us often and it may be the only chance we get to discuss these areas which can help improve your health.