Family GP - How Do You Manage When Your Family GP Moves on?

In the last 5 years, I had to switch GP around 10 times. Main reasons were Doctor move to a different suburb / city, reduces the number of days/hours available in the specific clinic especially weekends. Availability during holiday seasons or outside regular hours of 9 AM - 5 PM like late evening and early morning when we can't delay the visit.

The impact of this is, maintaining trust and good understand of your family medical history. Also the previous test reports and prescriptions get locked up with the clinic. With kids and Mrs, it gets further complicated.

So my question is how do you get around this? What was your personal experience?

Comments

  •  

    Had this happen recently, I lucked out with the new dr, very knowledgeable and approachable, just difficult to get an appointment with sometimes due to schedule.

  •  

    If not too far away, I would make the effort to stay with a GP you trust.

    Otherwise it’s a bit of a potluck :(

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    Have you been attending the same practice? Perhaps it's one that trains up new doctors and hence, a high turnover of GPs coming and going.

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      I think its more of the GPs going full on initially to get more income and then realizing the necessity of work life balance, reducing work hours and weekends and moving to convenient close to home practice.

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    You could try a medical centre practice. If you can't get a particular GP, you could try another doctor. Still would be pot-luck as to the quality of the doctor though. The upside is that they should at least be able to access your medical history and you wouldn't have to go through that hassle (if it's significant to you)

  • +1 vote

    If you get advance notice of your GP leaving, you could consider asking them for a recommendation.

  •  

    This happened to me recently. I've got a fairly long and involved medical history, so I didn't want to have to find a new GP and go through it all again with them. So I followed my GP to her new practice, which was only an extra 5 min drive.

    The old practice wanted charge me $40 to transfer my records to the new one. Has anyone else had to pay this? I've never had to before, but I've been with my GP for a while, so maybe it's a recent thing?

    •  

      Clinics are allowed to charge a "reasonable" fee to transfer records, covering admin etc. Many do not charge though

    • +1 vote

      Assuming the GP's practice is computerised, as most are, $40 is a bit steep to print your records.
      If they're not prepared to do it for free, maybe you could just make an appointment with another doctor at the practice and have them write out a summary for you while you wait?

      • +2 votes

        I did get them to send a "Medical Summary" to my GP for no charge. I figured that was better than nothing! :)

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      Will myhealthrecord take care of this? Is there anything we have to do, like inform GP to sync my records with this.

  • +1 vote

    Yes, I’ve also had this happen and it’s difficult. Really just looking around and asking for recommendations. If it’s the same practice, maybe that’s a sign to move to a different practice. You can of course ask for your records to be transferred. We also have some bulk billing gps we are happy with for the easy stuff that are easy to get in with and book the more complex stuff in advance with our preferred gp where possible.

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    Make sure they and you take good case notes.

  •  

    My first long term doctor as an adult moved to Adelaide.

    Second one left the clinic I attended mainly after hours and set up her own practice - and her receptionist denies anyone to become a 'new patient' despite having a 5+ year history with this doctor at the clinic. So unless I literally go there in person and the doctor sees/recognises me it makes it hard.

    I still go to the after hours clinic occasionally and just see any of the doctors there for anything I require urgently.

    I've found a local clinic but like most good doctors I think he's taken on too many patients so it does get hard to go back to him.

    I did try for a long time to find a new female doctor but gave up.