Back to the bad old days

Dear Sir,

The dreaded “Hell” Centre is back!

After a few years of relative calm it is back to the bad old days. 

The lines to make an appointment are supposed to open at 8.15, and previously once you rang, your call would be kept in the queue which gave you time to gauge if there were 30, 20 or 10 calls, whether you had time to have a shower in the meantime, brush your teeth, wash your hair or have your breakfast whilst the numbers went down, in readiness just in case you got an early appointment (what a hope!).

Now when you call at 8.15 the line sounds engaged which tells you by experience you have no chance at all!

It seems the lines are opening instead at 8.30 or later, which means that those who attend the Hell Centre will have taken up 15 precious minutes of appointments. By the time the telephone is answered (45 minutes later) there are no doctors, and even the Emergency doctors are full!

Since time immemorial you are still irritatingly asked who is your doctor. What a joke when there has never been any no possibility of continuity of treatment with “your” so called doctor. If by a miracle you get to see the Emergency doctor, you are then told in a stroppy way to see your own doctor next time!!! HOW???

Even if you have to go to A&E they ask who is your doctor, something I would like to know myself!

Apparently there are still over 4,000 appointments being lost and no one has ever tackled that problem. A charge of a meagre £5 or £10 would help to educate people that they have to cancel appointments, unless there is a good reason for not attending.

Then there is the foolish waste of a doctor’s time in having to make an appointment to get a result, when many years ago (before the previous government changed it for the worse and is still in force) you are compelled to see a doctor, when most of the time results are negative. Surely the nurse on duty could tell you on the phone or in person that the results are negative, and if not, tell you to see “a” doctor like many moons ago, to free doctors of unnecessary visits and be available for people who DO need to see one.

The previous government was in denial that any problems existed and they had a catchword to say that everything was “state of the art”. This government’s catchword is just as irritating when they announce “new initiatives” (in most government departments) when the “old” initiatives have not seen the light of day or have been abandoned.

Like the annual seasonal problems at the Post Office that no one seems to prepare for, the Hell Centre will be inundated with people with flu, not helped by staff holiday season shortages, that no one seems to foresee will only add to the problems that exist.

Yours faithfully

Isabella Caruana-(Montegriffo)