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Thread: Do GPs in New Zealand care?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    Default Do GPs in New Zealand care?

    I was wondering about how people felt about their family doctors in NZ. I know you have to pay to see them. I don't like the idea that you need money to get medical attention, but at the same time, the way some of my rellies abuse free visits to the doctor makes me think it would be an idea to charge 5 or 10 a time just to put people off wasting the doctor's time. Do you think your GP in NZ cares about your health or are you just another piece of meat on a conveyor belt? That's certainly the way I've been feeling about the UK increasingly over the last few years. I end up looking things up on the internet so I'll have a better idea of the big health picture. Our GP's solution to everything is just to listen for a couple of minutes and prescribe pills. Measure blood pressure - nope. Listen to heart - nope. Ask any questions about lifestyle - nope. Ask any questions about other factors - nope. Get you out of the door ASAP - yes. Is this what happens in NZ too? (Please say no.)

  2. #2
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    Feb 2008
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    My generalization-meter is buzzing loudly here. Our GP here in the UK, and that's to say all the doctors in that practice, not just our usual man, are nothing like you're describing. The same goes for the set who care for my 91-year-old mother. They're good people, who do their best in a difficult situation of limited time and resources, and will step outside the norm if you have an emergency. No doubt there ARE some of the lazy, unimaginative bad guys you describe, but it's not fair to hit them all with the stereotype.

    On our last trip to NZ, M had an ongoing problem with an injured toe, and had to see our son's GP several times. He was a courteous and caring person who went out of his way to prescribe what was needed in the most economical way. Again, maybe he's one end of a spectrum, but certainly there are good doctors about.

    (As you feel so strongly about the lack of care you're getting, couldn't you ask around to find a different practice to go to?)

  3. #3
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    Jun 2008
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    UK to USA to Waikato, NZ
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    My son has seen 1 GP here who is useless, as bright as a rock. The others have been great, done a good exam, listened to him and I and not been rushing us out the door. I agree that my be you have a bad GP or practice that maybe you need to change!
    The visits here can get pricey for some people and then they come and visit us in the ED and clog up the ED. In the US they came and visited the ED as it was the only place you did not have to pay up front, so same problem, different causes.

  4. #4
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    Caroline and I both have different GP's in different practices. She spends most time during the day in Auckland City and I am in the North Shore and Hibiscus Coast area mostly. Both practices are excellent. In my case the staff and doctors there are a great team. I am diabetic and I receive far better treatment here than I did in the UK I was not disappointed with the service in the UK but here I am made to feel like I am their only patient when I know I am not. If I have had a need for a visit to my GP either the practice nurse or receptionist will ring a few days later to check I am ok. The same applies for Caroline. At the Diabetic Clinic in the hospital once again the treatment is good.I have a 1pm appointment I am seen at 1pm. The latest I have waited is 5 minutes. I always see the consultant and he takes time with me and then follows up with regular emails if I need any adjustments. In the UK there are so many people in the system that I accepted that there would be a wait and that they did not have the time to spend a great deal of time with you but they always sorted my problems its just a bit more relaxed here.(Thats just my personal opinion and does not mean its the same everywhere)

  5. #5
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    Mar 2007
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    was Oxford nr Chch, NZ now UK
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    I work as a district nurse in the UK and as such spend a lot of time liaising with our GP's. I have had the chance to see behind the scenes and also see from a patient perspective. As a patient mu GP was a 'waste of space'. He never gave a definitive answer and just fobbed me off. I recently changed practice and my new doctors are much better - I have seen a different one every time I go but they all check my BP and I have had more blood tests in the last 18month than my last doctor did in 10 years. As a health worker I see what the doctors in my practice do out of surgery and there is a huge difference. Some are very conscientious and others don't seem to know what they are doing. I think a lot of it is down to the individual. In NZ I never had much reason to liaise with the GP;s when at work as the system was slightly different but they did seem to follow patients up and the one visit I made as a patient I got excellent service all for $30. Doctors world wide follow a code of conduct and they would not be doing their jobs of they didn't follow it - as with all professions there are some who are more committed than others regardless of how much or who pays them.

  6. #6
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    Jan 2007
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    Was more than happy with my doctor back in the UK and happy with the doctors here too.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Tauranga, Bay of Plenty
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    First doctor visit a couple of weeks ago after 3 years of being here and she was great. Although she had just come back home from spending 8 years in the UK NHS system as a GP. She was great.

    Only thing i have about the helath system here is that you can be put on the list for a consultant/hospital visit for tests etc, GP sends letter and then you wait and wait and wait and if your still waiting at 6 months they will automatically remove you from the list and you will get a letter to say so. The rule here is that they only have a 6 months waiting list which basically means that you get chucked off if they havent got around to giving you an appointment. The reason i know this is due to, yes my GP and also it happened to my other half for carpul tunnel where we paid privately for the op as they removed him from the waiting list at 6 months. So if you can afford it make sure you get private medical insurance is my recommendation.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Christchurch New Zealand
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    We have been going to the same practice - different doctors. It varies a lot from individual to individual.

    The only really weird thing which has happened to me only in NZ is a doctor recommending things like acupuncture! I have always believed in healthcare based on science and could never imagine such an advice coming from a qualified doctor.

  9. #9
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    Jun 2010
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    Ōtepoti, Aotearoa
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmasood View Post
    We have been going to the same practice - different doctors. It varies a lot from individual to individual.

    The only really weird thing which has happened to me only in NZ is a doctor recommending things like acupuncture! I have always believed in healthcare based on science and could never imagine such an advice coming from a qualified doctor.
    Define Science! 'Western', 'Indian', 'Chinese', 'African' and and and ... they are all different.
    And that is what I like here in NZ that they try to combine these different types of medical science!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    Quite agree, Ralf. My mother's former GP (now retired) had studied acupuncture, and treated her with it when she was in her 80s. Although it was totally beyond her normal expectations, she gave it a try on his recommendation, and said she felt an immediate improvement.

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