I took my Dad to our family doctor today. The purpose of the visit was to have the wax cleaned from his ears and to have a small skin cancer burned off his cheek. We were at the office for 2 1/2 hours. We were in the waiting room for one hour, before being taken back to an examination room where we sat for almost an hour and a half. We ended up seeing the doctor for a total of 5 minutes and the nurse for 5 minutes.
Now, I know from experience that a visit to the doctor requires patience. My Dad, lost his patience several years ago. He started asking what time it was after only fifteen minutes. Each request for the time became a bit louder - just in case they didn't hear him the last time. Then he announced every few minutes that they certainly were slow. Into the second hour of waiting, he decided that everyone must have gone to lunch or maybe they were having a picnic somewhere.
At one point he became convinced that they had forgotten we were waiting in the room, and he wanted me to go out and tell them that we were there. Finally he had enough of waiting and he wanted to go home. Well, I wasn't about to leave after waiting all that time, so he had to tough it out.
Eventually we did get to see the doctor and got his ears cleaned out so he can hear if you yell loud enough and got the skin cancer burned off his cheek. He's back home now, in his recliner taking a nap.
I know that the doctors and nurses are doing all they can to get to everyone as fast as possible, but that is a long wait especially for someone who does not feel well. When I was working, we had to have a written excuse from a doctor if we took a sick day. If I felt too sick to go to work, I was too sick to go to the doctor. That meant that once I felt better, I had to take another day off in order to get my written excuse.
Insurance companies - now they are a real pain to deal with. I went to the drugstore yesterday to get my Dad's prescription for Prevacid refilled. The insurance company declined the claim, saying he had reached his maximum allowed amount of the drug for the year. I had to call the doctor's office and ask them to contact the insurance company to ask for an exception so he could get a refill. Of course this will take some time to go through all the channels. In the meantime, he will run out of medicine. Thank goodness, it's not a medicine that would be dangerous for him to miss for a few days.
I think we need a complete overhaul of the health care system in this country. It gets worse all the time. Even people who have insurance, have a hard time getting anything covered.
Later - an update .........
The doctor's office just called me. The insurance company will not cover my Dad's prescription. They suggested I get him Prilosec OTC. Of course they suggest that - it's over the counter and they won't have to cover it.