Some time ago I had a small medical emergency.
After experiencing ongoing pain, I visited my Doctor who sent me for an ultrasound. From there, I was given a referral to a Specialist and told to advise the Receptionist that I needed to be seen, stat.
By the grace of God, the Receptionist was able to fit me in within the week and thankfully, after I was seen, I was given the all clear.
My 4 year old has been experiencing hearing problems for some time now. People put it down to cheekiness, or a lack of concentration but my gut told me it was something more sinister. I could tell by his demeanour and his reactions and responses, that it was not merely a case of selective hearing. I visited my GP again who agreed and wrote me a referral to a paediatric ENT Specialist.
There was a four month wait for that guy. Four months!
Apparently, during Summer, Doctor takes a holiday, so there is a halt on non-emergency consultations, leaving an enormous backlog of patients.
Was this standard? I had no idea.
My son’s hearing difficulty was starting to impact him more severely, so I knew I didn’t want to wait another four months.
I started to call around to different clinics and was given a variety of time frames, ranging from two months through to a five month wait! If I live in Sydney and the wait is this extensive, I could only imagine the anguish that people in remote areas must endure.
I promised myself that in my next life I would return as a Specialist.
Again, by the grace of God, and after a dozen conversations with a dozen Receptionists, I found a clinic that could take us during the following week and better still, perform the much needed Grommets procedure, early in 2013. As Google told me that this Specialist was very reputable and experienced, my GP was more than happy to change his referral to reflect the details of the new Specialist.
So the reason for this post is to share this tip with you.
If you’re given a very long waiting time to see a Specialist, call around to see if you can find another and then get your referral adjusted. Chances are there might be one with a shorter list, or a last minute cancellation, who can slot you in.
This is a really simple thing to do but something I didn’t think about until I was in this situation.