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Feb 17, 2010

an hour late

I hate going to the doctor. I had to go today. I got there a few minutes before my appointment, and lo and behold it turns out he is running over an hour late.

I had other things to do, other things scheduled, but it was all thrown out of whack because of the doctors office. A few minutes is ok, I can understand it. But an hour behind schedule? Not acceptable.


  1. socialized medicine!

  2. the same in the US. people have emergencies & get squeezed in. or complicated cases which go over.

    would be good if you could call ahead to find out if they are on schedule.

  3. i agree. esp because if I am late, they can charge me a fee. they should have to pay a fee if they run more than X minutes late. It's nice they fit other people in for emergencies, but that's the cost.

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  5. It has only a little to do with the type of medical system (socialized or private), even private doctors run behind for various reasons. Maybe the doctor had an emergency early in the morning that threw the schedule out of whack, or maybe there were a few unusually complex issues that had to be dealt with previous patients. Or maybe it is something as simple as a massive traffic jam.

  6. mark,

    or maybe it happens EVERY time I have a DR appointment. Maybe he overbooks, like the airlines, because he's a DR and can.

  7. Unfair to blame the doctor. Usually they do their best but a. people bring 3 kids and only have 1appointment, or b. there's all those people who 'just have a quick question' and stay in for 10 mins, or c. he gives each person lots of personal time and attention and this makes him overrun. Usually it's the good doctors who are so popular and get over-run.
    There is a local doctor who regularly runs over 2 hours behind schedule. She works flat out and doesn't even take a break for coffee. Bearing in mind that they get paid about tuppence an hour, we are very lucky to have some great local caring doctors.

  8. What do you expect when they schedule appointments every 5 minutes (10 minutes if you're lucky).

    My GP is supposed to start seeing her first patient at 8. On a good day she first shows up at 8, sometimes it's 8:05. But then she needs to get her coffee and then the computer needs to boot up (heaven forbid she turn the computer on and THEN get her coffee while the computer is turning on).

    So she sees the 8 a.m. appointment at about 8:15... By 9:30 she's an hour behind.

    I've learned to get the first appointment.

  9. Rafi, you sure you're Jewish?

    Wow, you're big. You've even got some spam!

  10. Bus companies have to pay a fee if they are very late.
    It is an interesting question re doctors.
    Would you want the doctor to rush through your visit to avoid the fee?
    But, they should schedule longer appointments and have doctors scheduled to be there for more hours.
    If they see that a dr has longer appointments they can take his average and make future appointments that length.
    I think they won't do that because of budget concerns (and they can get away with it until the other kupa starts advertising longer appointments).

    Kupa is not equal to real health insurance (which even in the US may soon cease to exist).
    It is probably worth getting some extra coverage, so you don't end up in a radio ad begging to pay for a lifesaving $200K operation that isn't covered by the kupa.

  11. Alluded to but never said straight out - often it's the patients themselves that cause the backlog by being late. It's a vicious circle: "Oh the doctor never runs on time, so no point in my being on time!" Also, it depends on what time of day your appointment is. If he runs over by 2 min. on each appointment, then by the afternoon, if he's already seen 20 patients, you can be looking at a 40 minute delay, just because each patient was "only" 2 min. late.

    I know a orthodontist who give a certain amount of time, I think 5 min., grace for lateness. After that, the patient loses the appointment. If he shows up later than that they'll say, "Sorry, if we take you now, it'll carry over into the next patient's time, and that would be unfair to him since he was on time." They make this clear to new patients from the get go so everyone knows the rules. That's how they keep their appointments on schedule.


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