Our expert says:
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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