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Old 5th March 2011, 13:25   #1
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Default Why do doctors make us wait for Hours?

I know a sucessfull General Physician who operates a clinic with just 1 assistant. He has a habit of taking appointments and confirming the same over SMS. Thus your waiting time never crosses 15 mins. He's damn good and also wastes no time. Everything he prescribes us is keyed in, into his laptop and records are maintained even if you're not a regular.The whole process is so smooth and saves time. The way he respects people's time has left me awestruck.

The other day i took my kid to a US educated paediatrician. The board says he will be meeting patients from 10'0 clock. I wait for half an hour. The place is getting crowded up. No sign of him. I ask the rceptionist to enquire and she calls him. Reply is 20 mins. My son hadn't slept the whole night as he was running high fever. I'm getting tensed. Finally the doc turns up, a good one and a half hours late.

Why do some doctors do this knowing very well that, waiting for hours for an already sick patient is extreme torture?
Is it because they wan't to create an image of a crowded clinic and attract more patients. Even if you a have a prior apponitment, it takes hours of waiting in that waiting hall with steel chairs and a loud TV.

In this internet and SMS era why can't patient visits be streamlined and planned properly?
Is it because India is woefully short of Docs and there is a huge demand supply mismatch.
If so isn't it time this coutry which boasts of itself as one among the new Financial superpowers opened more medical colleges?

Last edited by Daewood : 5th March 2011 at 13:29.
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Old 5th March 2011, 13:37   #2
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Default re: Why do doctors make us wait for Hours?

This seems to be Universal prob , i mean atleast in India been too many doc who always make u wait for atleast 30mins, for some appointment makes no sense its more like they want to b sure if someone is coming to their clinic though you have a prior appointment you will have to wait for hours and the best part they dont even feel sorry about it...

can say many of them are "arrogant" too! the prob is they have taken it for granted that people need docs so this factor is leading to all this behavior!
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Old 5th March 2011, 13:40   #3
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Default re: Why do doctors make us wait for Hours?

It is all a supply and demand ratio. Good doctors are very rare and the no. of sick people are infinite.
No wonder they charge astronomical figures and will make us wait for hours just because there is no-where else you can go. They think it is their time that is valuable and don't even bother about others. Well not just doctors is is a general perception of any human being who is an important person in the current society.

There is only 1 solution. Be a doctor yourself.
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Old 5th March 2011, 13:48   #4
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Default re: Why do doctors make us wait for Hours?

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Originally Posted by oxyzen View Post
No wonder they charge astronomical figures and will make us wait for hours just because there is no-where else you can go.
Let them charge high enough as per their talent and qualification, but this wasting of valuable time of patients is highly deplorable in this 21st century.
It's a hangover of the License Raj era where you had to wait endlessly for everything, be it train ticket, phone connection, etc,etc
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Old 5th March 2011, 14:32   #5
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Default re: Why do doctors make us wait for Hours?

As Daewood mentions there are doctors who keep to their time and those that don't. Same as in any other profession. With the availability of several specialists in each field ( especially in the larger towns) one needs to patronize the right ones. Any one made to wait by lawyers?
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Old 5th March 2011, 14:41   #6
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Default re: Why do doctors make us wait for Hours?

Isn't waiting a part of scheme of things in India? Everybody makes people wait, in all sphears of life, in all professions. Indians never keep up their date with time, be it anywhere. Doctors are just a small part of this system.
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Old 5th March 2011, 15:15   #7
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Default re: Why do doctors make us wait for Hours?

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Originally Posted by AWD View Post
Isn't waiting a part of scheme of things in India? Everybody makes people wait, in all sphears of life, in all professions. Indians never keep up their date with time, be it anywhere. Doctors are just a small part of this system.
Waiting is too common in this land in all walks of life.
Take one's daily routine. If you are driving you have to wait to get into the maine road. You've to wait at the signals.
Say then at servic centres you need to wait your turn for the service supervisor, wait to get the car back.

If you commute in public transport the wait for the bus or train is nerve shattering unless you are in Mumbai suburban stations. Then the train waits for signals.

For every delay there would be umpteen reasons all a viciouc circle or cycle.The Doc may be engaged in the hospital with critical patients.

You wait for the net to connect. Wait for the water to flow, the electric power to resume. There are very many to wait and wait.

In other word one spends nearly 25% of his life waiting for some thing or other
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Old 5th March 2011, 15:52   #8
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Default re: Why do doctors make us wait for Hours?

I had a huge fight with a dental surgeon about this long back - when I was much younger. I had an appointment for surgical extraction of wisdom teeth at 9:00 am. I reached there at 8:45 am. 9:30 am - I wasn't still called in. Other people who came in after me got called in. Finally, I got frustrated & barged into his office & shouted at the dental surgeon. I was seen next. He didn't take any revenge on me during the surgery either :-)
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Old 6th March 2011, 12:22   #9
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Default Re: Why do doctors make us wait for Hours?

My daughter paediatrician is particular about time slots. He also keeps certain slots free for emergency walk ins. He tries to avoid a wait of 20 min

My orthopedist also provides time slots but he arrives late due to an emergency operation. He does ensure his office will let you know so you can rebook. He also organises it that you get through the xrays etc fast before the final review. I experiences another orthopedist who would make you wait for no end
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Old 6th March 2011, 12:40   #10
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Default Re: Why do doctors make us wait for Hours?

We shouldn't generalize. With a billion people around and a good percentage of them being morons, crowd and time management is quite a task!

A colleague of mine mentioned that he doesn't take his kids to a child specialist who's famous in his area, because of the long waiting time. The child ends up contracting additional infections in the small and crowded place!!
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Old 7th March 2011, 07:58   #11
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Red face Re: Why do doctors make us wait for Hours?

I know a couple of doctors in my area who make their patients wait for more than an hour or so. This is because they do consulting job in some super speciality hospitals and then come to their private clinics. This way they make sure that they earn both ways. In spite of this, their clinics would not have proper fan operating, the paint peeled off in places, the sofa's in tatters and lot more eye sores.

In many a cases, I have seen more than one patient in the doctor's cabin since the doctor want to make up for the loss of time and the increasing patient's line.
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Old 7th March 2011, 09:05   #12
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Default Re: Why do doctors make us wait for Hours?

If walk-ins have to wait, it is understandable. But when they make you wait for 1-2 hours, despite securing an appointment, that's when it gets really frustrating. And this is not a new problem. Many doctors loathe to lose patients to competitors, so they give out appointments like candy to kids, whether they can handle the volume or not.

In the 80s, there used to be a DD serial called Rajni, with actress Priya Tendulkar in the lead. She was the first famous Tendulkar, much before Sachin.

In that serial, they used to tackle middle class issues in very episode. In one such episode, this waiting problem at doctor's office was addressed. She finally convinces the doctor to decline giving appointments if he can't handle the volume.
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Old 7th March 2011, 09:37   #13
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Default Re: Why do doctors make us wait for Hours?

I too hate to be made to wait for a doctor. I wish there was a way for the visit to get done on time, espessially if I m given an appointment at a particular time.

wish the hospitals will restrict the OP cases to say 10 or 20 (fitting in 50 in say 2-3 Hrs time slot will only make people wait more), but then I may get charged in thousands instaed of the 200 I m charged now.


My bro is a doctor and had seen his schedule. He works on only one hospital and he dont even get time to be with his Kids. he rarely visit my parents since there will be one or the other patient waiting in the hospital.
For patients, its just one day affair but for a doctor its a daily affair. I believe they also deserve a life.
Poor guy, he is on call at night and whenever I was at his place he will be called in for some emergency case (he is an Ortho specialist) at night. there are times when he is called 3-4 times at night and seeing that I m happy that I didnt choose his field.
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Old 7th March 2011, 09:51   #14
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Default Re: Why do doctors make us wait for Hours?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Samurai View Post
In the 80s, there used to be a DD serial called Rajni, with actress Priya Tendulkar in the lead. She was the first famous Tendulkar, much before Sachin.
Her father was a famous Tendulkar even before her :-)

I remember a lot of those Rajani episodes.
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Old 7th March 2011, 10:07   #15
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Default Re: Why do doctors make us wait for Hours?

In Kerala, I prefer to meet doctors at their residences/clinics (whoever does practice) because hospitals are too crowded anyways. I have seen many doctors who give appointments to multiple people at the same time. Eg: They give me an appointment at 5 pm and when I go there, and see others as well with an appointment at 5 pm. The reasons are

1. If a patient doesn't turn up, then there is someone else to attend to. The doctor's time is not wasted in waiting
2. Many people turning up at the same time gives an impression that the Doc is very busy - which implies that he/she is a good one.

EDIT: I have absolutely no complaints as far as their fee goes. They go through the lengthy grind to gather that knowledge. Just need to visit one of the developed nations to figure out how much they charge!

Last edited by Jeep : 7th March 2011 at 10:09.
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