Monday, July 2, 2012
After much waiting, an appointment arrives and I present myself to the Healthcare Centre (ho ho ho...). The first words out of the Doctors mouth were to remind me that I was only permitted to raise one medical problem per appointment.
This poses a dilemma. Not being a medical chap, how am I - any of us - meant to judge which out of several problems was the most serious? Is that not the point of medical training...? In an attempt to avoid an arsey retort, I offered her the choice - chest pains, or my extremely painful left arm and shoulder.
She went for the chest pain, wired me for an ECG, checked cholesterol, is testing for diabetes, and so on. All very thorough and hardly standard practice for a prison Doctor. My arm even got a look-in, only to be met with the standard prison Lazarus mixture, paracetamol and ibuprofen.
Only depression and my crumbling back left to go. Shouldn't take more than a few weeks for that appointment...
Oh, I knew there was a point to this. We are meant to receive broadly equivalent healthcare from the NHS as we would outside. Does anybody's GP insist that they only mention one problem per appointment?