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Question
Posted by: CP MOM | 2009-10-06

Medz

Hi dear Cs, hows things?

Please help me understand.

I see Nè ' s paediatric neurologist from time to time. He has prescribed epilepsy meds for her - it took many visits and experimenting to get exactly the right dosage. So the last year i' ve just called him and asked for a script and then they fax me one and a bill for R70.

I have done this many times. Friday she tells me no she cannot give me a script unless I' ve seen the doc - I said now I must pay R950 to see Dr. Lipperd just to he can LOOK at her and say hmmm ja she' s fine here' s a script? YES.

So i thought about it on the weekend and what else can I do? So yesterday I phoned and said ok i' ve got 16days pills left please can i make an appointment. Yes, I can come at the end of November. I said you dont understand! I only have meds for 16 days. SORRY she says. I said well then let the doc give me meds for until then or just for 30 days. SORRY WE CANT UNLESS YOUVE SEEN THE DOC.

I said this is stupid, you' ve never mentioned this before I cant see him and you cant give me a script! Must she just have seizures and die ? SORRY she say' s we cant give a script and we cant give an earlier appointment.

I said ok, then in that case i' ll report you. She said go ahead they always take the doc' s side.....I slammed the phone down. Dont tell me cs i must speak to him because you cant'  get past her.

I then phoned Dr. Aduc who can only see me on the 15th of FEB!.....

now what now?

You know what now? Now they force you to be criminal...fake a script? Nothing is more important than her having these meds....

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Our expert says:
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As I don't practise in this way, I have no idea what the current regulations, etc., are for this, but R 70 sounds a bit steep for simply writing a repeat prescription and having the secretary fax it to you. But maybe that's how it is these days. As for refusing to do this indefinitely, and asking that the doc sees the patient now and then, that's probably good practice --- even with chronic meds, especially with someone who is growing, their needs may change, and professionally it would be expected for the doc to occasionally re-asess the person and re-evaluate their need for meds. R 950 for a quick re-evaluation in these circumstances does sound rather steep, indeed.
Now, if the doc or his office insists on such a re-evaluation, especially if they didn't warn tou of this before and send a reminder to make the appointment before the previous medicine ran out, I would see it as the doc's ethical duty to provide a prescription by fax or to pick up to at least provide for continuing the present meds until he can see her --- if he is too busy to offer an early appointment, --- the patient should not suffer or be forced to stop taking needed meds, especially where this could havwe serious health consequences, if he can't offer an early enough appointment. And he can't complain that you left it to the last minute, if he never warned you in plenty of time that this procuddure and delay would be inevitable.
On that issue, you could indeed report the doc to the Medical / Health Professions Council in Pretoria, and they do Not always take the doctor's side, and would be interested to hear that the doctor or his staff dismissed you with that threat. They could also be asked to issue guidelines to docs about this sort of situation. You CAN complian, even if it is only the receptionist dfoing this, as the doctor is TOTALLY responsible for setting the rules for his receptionist and monitoring her conduct. You could complain on the grounds that he has needlessly placed her at risk. If you were to sue, it might be necessary to demonstrate some specific damage, as the emotional stress on yourself would be real but hard to prove.
Frankly, I am shocked at how often I hear of docs who cannot give appointments except months ahead. They ought to manage their time better, and not be so greedy about accepting new patients that they can't see their existing patioents when needed.
However. A prescription is needed for such meds. Any GP can write the prescription, and so could any doctor at any casualty department, if you explain the situation. And maybe you'd want to change doctors for this aspect of her care, as this response from his office is deeply uncaring and inflexible. I wonder whether the doctor even knows what the Dragon at the front desk is doing in situations like this.

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Our users say:
Posted by: Liza | 2009-10-06

Good grief! The receptionist sounds like a bureaucrat! Loving the red tape. I would suggest that you try and find another doctor who might be able to give an earlier appointment. Unfortunately I doubt whether you can complain about the doctor when it' s the receptionist giving the problems. And then you will only be able to sue if something bad DOES happen to Ne because she doesn' t have her meds.

Perhaps you could even go to a GP for a script until you can get one from the specialist? This is the only solution I can think of right now. Just tell the GP that you cannot get an appointment in time at the specialist.

Good Luck!
Liza

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