GPs think they're so grucking fate

6 Jul

Last week I took my 13yo son to see our GP and get his prescriptions updated for our trip to the USA, just to make sure we had enough Epipens, Piriton, steroids, inhalers… all the kit and kaboodle a child with serious allergies has to drag around with them.

I was a bit worried at that stage that I hadn’t managed to find a bottle of liquid Piriton any smaller than 140ml because the limit for liquids is 90ml for travelling to the USA.  Just a bit worried since we are flying BA and they carry Epipens onboard and all flight attendants are trained in their administration. Only a tiny bit worried since we will have a full set of all his medicine in our checked luggage for when we’re over there. But for total peace of mind I like to take one of everything he could possibly need in my hand luggage too.

So I asked the GP if she would write a covering letter to smooth the path of all these pointy sharp bits, liquids, gases and pills onto the plane…. like they have done every year we’ve travelled by air. “Sure”, she said, “no problem pick it up next week”.

Today is next week and when MrW went to pick it up the receptionist said he had to pay £12 before she would release it.

WTF?

Since all our cash is now in crisp dollars he asked if they took Visa. And they don’t. So now what?

I phoned them to explain that this wasn’t a passport form, it wasn’t something I could get the local postmaster or a school teacher to do. Only my son’s GP can confirm that he needs these drugs and he’s a minor for crying out loud – since when did doctors charge minors for anything? Since it’s not covered by the NHS according to the receptionist.

Obviously I’m not taking massive risks here, Andrew will only eat snacks on the plane that I have bought in advance. In all probability he won’t need his drugs. We are flying BA because they are trained and because their transatlantic flights are nut free.

Our £100k+ a year GPs can take their letter and shove it where the sun don’t shine. I am damned if I am going to pay them to provide a 1 page print of a proforma letter they have graciously stuck their signature on. They should be utterly ashamed of themselves charging a child for a piece of paper that could assure his safety when travelling.

Yesterday I found a 70ml bottle of Piriteze. The Epipens are 0.3ml and the pills will hopefully not be too soggy so I’m sure we’ll be fine. It’s too late for me to contact his consultant now anyway so we’ll just have to cross our fingers and take enough crisps and Maltesers to keep him going for nine hours.

I can get QUINCY’S autograph for 99 PENCE!

And my GPs want £12?!?!  FFS!

For £12 I can get JESUS’S signature.

I phoned the Anaphylaxis Campaign to check if this was normal. They advised that whilst doctors CAN charge for these letters since they are not covered by the NHS, many don’t. And I’d like to think in the case of children many more don’t. It seems my GP surgery is just especially stinking. I look forward to telling them exactly what I think of them when we get back.

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12 Responses to “GPs think they're so grucking fate”

  1. Marylin July 6, 2010 at 1:40 pm #

    OMG I’d be raging!

    I hope your trip goes well honey, when are you all due back? x

    • MrsW July 6, 2010 at 5:01 pm #

      Sometime in August she vaguely says in case of bugglers – lucky my Mum and Dad live over the road 🙂

  2. Michelloui July 6, 2010 at 1:45 pm #

    I had to read this I loved the title so much! I have several GP friends and NONE of them charge for passport signatures, so I doubt if they would sign for this. And they’re all parents of young children so perhaps that has something to do with it?! I am amazed at the sheer cheek of some people. I like how your GP didnt actually tell you to your face that there would be a charge.

    Anyway. Have a total blast in the States. Im envious. Wish I could stow away in your luggage! You’d more than a GP’s note then, though. 🙂

  3. Priness_L_88 July 6, 2010 at 2:34 pm #

    My GP doesn’t charge me for letters because he’s lovely!
    If I was you I’d buy Jesus’ signature and stick it on a note! Can’t argue with Jesus, right!

    • MrsW July 6, 2010 at 5:01 pm #

      Actually I’d fair enjoy a good old argument with Jesus lol! ;0

  4. Glen July 6, 2010 at 5:46 pm #

    I never knew you could get Jesus’ autograph so cheap! Any idea how much God charges?

  5. Kelly July 6, 2010 at 6:13 pm #

    I have a lovely pediatrician for my daughter and they give me records and whatnot for free. Of course, my insurance is another story. If I schedule Vi’s yearly well-child check-up one day earlier than I did the year before, they won’t pay for it. 12 months exactly must pass between these magic visits. Grrr.

    Have fun visiting our fine little continent!

  6. Ellen Arnison July 6, 2010 at 9:09 pm #

    You’re right. It’s not on. I got charged £15 for a letter explaining why I needed to carry syringes (I was pregnant and on Clexane for a blood clotting thingy). I remember thinking it was a bit steep but was too blurgh to do anything about it.
    Anyhow, have a refreshing and problem-free trip.

  7. Kristin @ Peace, Love and Muesli July 6, 2010 at 10:40 pm #

    I’m in Canada and our GP’s charge for anything they can. But I think you have a good point. Your son is a minor and traveling with a lot of medications the doctor should be offering a letter. Don’t they want to be 100% certain your son (and others) have the drugs they need when and if they need them?

  8. Barbara July 7, 2010 at 2:01 pm #

    I’m still speechless about this. It’s bloody outrageous.

  9. Ladybird World Mother July 9, 2010 at 1:06 pm #

    Oh, am so glad have found you (through ironing, not waving… or is that the other way round??)
    Spitting with rage that arsey doctor charged £12. Glad you shoved it somewhere unmentionable. As it were. And when you get back can you PLEASE do a post on how you bollocked him??? Or let us do it for you??
    I’ll be back… just off to read more of your posts.

  10. veryanniemary July 9, 2010 at 8:41 pm #

    I appreciate that you are over a barrel with this trip, but I would vote with my feet when you return. It’s nothing short of extortion…

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