I had reason to consult a “Consultant” recently.
He (and they are nearly always a “he”) sent me an appointment, with headed notepaper showing that he “consults” in four private hospitals in three different counties.
My appointment was for his “rooms”.
This means that the man has four “jobs”, and probably more if he does his quota in public hospitals also.
He charged me €140 for the “first consultation”, and V.H.I. probably had to pay him some more – “the excess”. I don’t know because V.H.I. didn’t tell me, but his receptionist asked for my V.H.I. number and details, so I can assume that V.H.I. were involved somehow.
At this first consultation (which lasted definitely no more than 5 minutes), he asked me about 6 questions: examined me very briefly (about 45 seconds); dictated a few sentences to his receptionist / secretary, including telling her to arrange an M.R.I. for me.
Last week, I received a letter inviting me to return to “discuss” the results of the M.R.I. €100 this time.
This second visit lasted no more than 5 minutes, during which time he also took two calls on his mobile phone and went into his bathroom to blow his nose!
He rummaged through his computer, asked me twice what was my name again – found and read the M.R.I. results in front of me (I was not impressed at the zero preparation).
He explained the results in medical-speak in about 2 minutes flat.
He asked me the exact same questions that he asked me on the first visit; gave me the exact same 45 second examination; and dictated almost exactly the same sentences to his secretary, substituting a course of treatment for the M.R.I. (treatment that he will not be providing).
This man took €240 from me for 10 minutes work plus whatever V.H.I. paid him. He didn’t help me in any way, but fobbed me off to the next conveyor belt in this insane system. I was treated as a piece of meat to be moved along as quickly as possible, but to squeeze as much money out of me and out of V.H.I. as possible. I would have been better off staying at home, certainly financially.
This is not my first experience of consultants acting like this. Our Health system is a joke, a very, very dangerous joke.
Is it just me, or do you think that the system that allows consultants to behave like this is disgraceful and just downright wrong?
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