Senior doctors have warned that general practitioners are struggling to cope with the increasing demand for their services.
The requests for appointments have risen sharply since the relaxation of the Covid lockdown measures. according to MEN’S information.
Dr. Siobhan Brennan, a general practitioner from Stockport, says doctors are reaching their limits due to a backlog of patients waiting to be referred to hospital and pressure to run the Covid vaccination program.
“We’re drowning right now,” said Dr. Brennan.
“We are trying to do our normal daily tasks in dealing with people with long-term health conditions, and in addition to that, we had the vaccination program to complete.
“Lately the demand has increased again. In fact, I can’t remember the last time I had an empty appointment.
“Burnout is becoming a very real problem.”
Dr. Brennan says she has noticed a change in attitudes towards general practitioners among patients.
“There seems to be a perception that general practitioners’ offices were not open during the pandemic,” she adds.
“I have noticed a lot of vitriol being released in the media and by politicians through general practitioners, which seems to be creating a backlash against us as professionals.
“It is as if we were no longer celebrated as heroes, but as villains during this pandemic.
“We have a very large number of patients who are aggressive and abusive towards us, often because their hospital appointments have been delayed.
“Patients seem to think they are entitled to appointments on the same day that we are actually fighting the fire.
“The general practice is just on your knees.
“I’m an ultramarathon runner and believe me, it’s easier to do a 50-mile race right now than a week in the GP.”
Dr. Bob Mathewson, a general practitioner of more than 35 years of age, describes the demand as unprecedented.
“We have six to seven doctors in the office and they came to me because of the pressure they are under.
“As a senior partner, I’m responsible for organizing the resources, but unfortunately I don’t always have the answers.
“We have to hire more staff and even that is difficult. We hope to have a new doctor coming to us in June after jumping through all the tires, but it probably won’t be enough. We’ll still be among ourselves.” ” great pressure.
“In a telephone operation, I received 35 calls that were classified as urgent between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m.
“Ordinarily we would be looking at around 15 during that period, so it’s constant, with no interruptions.”
“Instead of taking 10 minutes, it now takes 20 because you have to disinfect the room after each consultation.
“We can handle face masks, visors, and hand sanitizers, but it’s all the other elements that add to our workload.
“It’s coming from all directions. We have more electronic consultations, more e-mails and electronic letters from the local hospitals. More people are checking in for blood tests that have been due 18 months.”
Dr. However, Mathewson said the majority of patients understood the pressures the system was under.
He added, “Our patients have been quite tolerant and understanding throughout all of this.
“When we say we can’t refer them to hospital because of the coronavirus, they usually always understand the difficulties involved.”