‘Why can’t the GP still receive me?’ | Right away

Every week, Edwin de Vaal ( 48), a general practitioner in Nijmegen, answers a frequently asked or conspicuous question from his practice. This week it’s like this: life is getting more normal again, why can’t I go to the GP ‘normally’?

Why is it still so hard to get a doctor’s appointment?

“Life seems to be returning to normal now that the hotel industry and schools are reopened. But that is not yet the case for GPs. We don’t have the ability to see everyone in practice.”

What do you mean by capacity?

“In practice, we must strictly adhere to the measures of 1.5 metres. Even stricter than elsewhere, because we have many vulnerable people. For example, we can spend fewer people in the waiting room and have fewer consultation hours. We also want to prevent people from getting too close when they enter and leave.”

But what if you’ve been walking around with discomfort for weeks?

“Everyone who really needs to be seen is of course seen. But if your complaint does not require you to actually be present at the doctor’s office, we plan a telephone consultation. Or we communicate by e-mail. Anyway, you can always consult with the wizard. You can always call.”

It takes a long time…

“I notice that some patients are slowly becoming impatient. I understand that, but some of it is also wrong. We are taking action in the interests of the health and safety of all. In the rest of the world, the threat of the virus may seem a little gone. In general practice, we really want to do everything in our power to prevent a second wave.”

“Remember that there are still people who only have corona and are therefore contagious but have no symptoms yet. In any case, we want to prevent the practice from becoming a heart of the corona.”

What should I do if I have a complaint and cough?

“People with respiratory problems are really not welcome in practice. If you have a complaint for which you need to be seen by the doctor and you do not or cough, then there is often special advice. With us, that’s at the end of the day. This minimizes the risk of infection of other patients. If Corona is suspected, we’re still going on a house visit packed.”

Even the appointments in the hospital are not well understood.

“The ambulances have the same problem as us: the capacity and space are missing to be able to pick everyone up and treat them quickly. In addition, a waiting list has been drawn up in recent months because many treatments have been postponed.”

‘It’s annoying, but unfortunately the gp can’t influence it. The specialist in the hospital manages the agenda himself. If your symptoms increase, talk to your GP.”