Family Doctors Are Important To A Person’s Health

A family doctor is the first place to visit when you have a medical problem. If you get a nasty rash or have minor chest problems, you contact the family doctor, and they will advise you and provide relief if possible. They may also identify a more serious problem and refer you to a specialist. They help you stay well by organising vaccinations and health advice. A family doctor may be treating you through various stages of your life, and they get to know you or have complete records of your health of several years. You may only see a specialist once in your lifetime, but a family doctor is a constant in your life.

When you are on long term medication, it is your family doctor that monitors you, checking for side effects and whether you still need to be taking it, or whether the dosage needs to be changed.

Of course, we all know that in the UK the National Health Service General Practitioners are over-stretched and sometimes you have to wait for an appointment. For those that cannot wait and want to be seen sooner, there are Private General Practitioners, like Broadgate GP, who can offer to see you the same day.

Family Doctors also, in many places, offer a convenient location where people with long term conditions like diabetes can receive checkups from specialists. For example, my local family doctor brings people to the surgery to check the eys and feet of diabetes patients. Once a year, a specialist will come and check the feet of those with diabetes (feet are a possible trouble spot for diabetics). Another specialist will go once a year and check the eyes of diabetic patients. All of these services are hosted by the General Practitioner who monitors the effectiveness of diabetes medication and organises regular blood tests. So, it is not just treating you for problems that come up on random occasions. Your family doctor also is the main point of contact for those needing long term care.

Recently Family Doctors have been involved in campaigns to improve health and stop people from becoming sick, with inoculation campaigns, anti-smoking help, and campaigns to care for carers, as examples. This hearkens back to how medicine used to be in China. There the doctor would be paid by individuals to keep them healthy. As long as they were healthy, they continued to pay a fee to the doctor. This fee stopped the moment that the individual fell sick. The doctor would treat the patient without payment until they were healthy again, at which point the doctor would once again start to receive fees again.

Surgeries in the UK now sends out health information and invitations for flu jabs, details on how to stop smoking, and reminds people with longer-term complaints to come in for checkups. The GP is the crucial individual monitoring the health of the individual, rather like the Chinese doctors, and not just stepping in after the individual becomes sick.