The independent London newspaper

We need our GPs, and I know it

25 September, 2020

• I DON’T recognise the description of north London general practitioners from the unnamed reader, (GPs are redundant, Letters, September 18).

I’ve been a patient registered at Islington Central Medical Centre in Laycock Street since my last GP retired and her sole practice was closed in 2013.

Since the Covid-19 crisis blew up I’ve had cause to consult my practice twice. On both occasions I received a call back from a doctor the same day.

In the first instance I had a minor but distressing and embarrassing infection. The doctor asked me to call for an examination that day, after which he prescribed an ointment which cured the problem quickly and completely.

On the second occasion the GP with whom I spoke advised me to go to A&E as soon as possible and rang the hospital in advance to advise them of his preliminary diagnosis. I was X-rayed and given some prescription drugs after a short wait.

The following day a doctor from UCLH rang to say that further examination of the X-rays had shown a problem requiring further testing and examination.

I was asked to return to the hospital where I was admitted as an in-patient for further tests and scans. After two days a final diagnosis was possible. The problem wasn’t nearly as grave as first feared. I was released to return as an out-patient.

These two issues reminded me yet again how precious the NHS is and the vital role that GPs play within it.

I’m currently unemployed and struggling financially. As hard as I try I just can’t get a job. If I were living in the USA I’d be unable to afford the cost of the treatment I’ve recently received. I’d now be gravely ill.

We do not need more top-down administrative NHS reforms. We need a halt to the creeping privatisation and the internal market. Both are inefficient, expensive to the taxpayer, and dangerous. We need our GPs.

Highbury Station Road, N1


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