I had a lousy afternoon.  My doctor’s surgery didn’t tell me that my (routine) blood test today was supposed to be a fasting test, with the result that I didn’t fast and couldn’t have my blood test.  So that’s a wasted NHS appointment and a waste of my time – and energy – going to the hospital.  That wasn’t what made me angry.  The anger came from the contempt that the GP’s surgery receptionists treated me with when I tried to find out what was going on, if I was really supposed to have a fasting blood test or if it was a mistake, as if I had no right to ask why the doctor wanted someone to stick a needle in me and take my blood.  Because I’m just the patient and should shut up and do as I’m told.  I actually left because I could see they weren’t going to listen to me, but I was still angry.  When I realised I had forgotten to collect my repeat prescription from the surgery, I went back and decided to ask if they could check with the doctor that I was supposed to have a fasting blood test.  They said they had checked with him, presumably after I had left.  So either they were worried that they were not right to dismiss my questions, in which case they have even less justification for treating me so badly for asking, or they lied to me to shut me up.  I couldn’t say anything as I couldn’t prove that they had lied and was too tired to continue.

Seriously, I am coming to hate the NHS, although saying that publicly in this country makes me about as popular as Richard Dawkins on a tour of the Bible Belt, and for much the same reason.  I forget who said the religion of Britain is the NHS, but it is, and a useless little tin idol it sometimes is too.  Not that anyone will say that on this election campaign; the NHS has long been Labour’s not-so secret weapon.

Because of anger and tiredness, my shopping afterwards took longer than it should have done and I got home at 5.30pm exhausted and unable to do much useful.  I didn’t really do anything all day other than my two-hour-plus afternoon of trying to sort out the blood test and some related shopping and my shiur (religious class) in the evening, although I did find the time to speak to my sister and to write a devar Torah (Torah thought) for this week.

I’ve thought up a devar Torah for every week so far for this cycle of Torah readings (five weeks so far), although one was thought up while we were away and didn’t get written down.  I thought about sending them to some friends from shul (synagogue), but I’m too wary that people may not like my interpretations rather those of rabbis that are, so to speak, certainly kosher, particularly not when I do things like query whether there have been scribal errors in religious texts like the Midrash, as I did this week.  I suppose I can change my mind in the future.

And that’s it for today really.  I’m exhausted and don’t have anything else to say.  I was too busy being angry and frustrated to be depressed or particularly introspective.

7 thoughts on “I Don’t ♥ the NHS

  1. I hate bad doctors! That’s dreadful. I know I’ve been putting off seeing a doctor about my knee because I fear that I’ll be strung along for hours at the office and not adequately treated, because I’ll be so frustrated that I’ll leave before they can help me. It doesn’t say much for healthcare when we put it off out of fretfulness that it won’t go well.

    I had blood drawn once, too, when I wasn’t told to fast, but it was a fasting test. It showed that I had really high cholesterol, probably because I ate! Doctors and their staff should try harder.

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  2. Glad you were able to blame the surgery and not take their rudeness personally. You might find it interesting to go onto NHS Choices and see the sort of feedback your surgery gets. (And you can give anonymous feedback yourself if you wanted). And the CQC website will also give your surgery a rating. I think there are areas of excellence in the NHS – and huge areas where it is under-performing. But in any organisation you will get poor staff. I would always encourage people to give feedback and to complain if service is persistently poor…

    On circulating your thoughts on your Torah study to your friends: does anyone else do this? It strikes me that you hold yourself back a great deal for fear of criticism or rejection. Could you perhaps send to just one friend and ask what they think?

    I am delighted to know about your interview on Monday. Good luck with that.

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    1. I am tempted to give negative feedback. I find this surgery to have good doctors, but inefficient and often rude receptionists.

      Someone else did have a WhatsApp group that lots of people from the community were on where he shared Torah thoughts each week. He died a few months ago and people were saying, “Someone else should take over” which is what made me think of it. I wouldn’t have dared otherwise. But I’m not sure it’s a good idea.

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  3. That’s frustrating about the blood test. The system is pretty good where I am. There are community lab locations that take some appointments but mostly drop-in, so if you haven’t prepared properly it’s easy to just go back the next day.

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    1. I used to go somewhere where it was mainly drop-in. It used to work quite well; once I waited an hour or so, but usually I got seen quickly. I don’t mind booking an appointment, I just wish someone from the doctor’s surgery had told me that I needed a fasting appointment not a regular one.

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