Can a doctor deny an appointment?

26 posts in this topic

Posted

Perhaps this might fit into the vent but i thought a new topic would be appropriate. Mods please feel free to move if thats not the case.

I caught cold virus since Friday and was not in a position to get up from bed and go to the doctor. So I waited until today to get an appointment after giving a call. To my horror as i reached the doctor, the assistant said to me with a big smile(yeah talk about customer service) that their praxis dont take any "new" patients!!! WTF!!! Here i was thinking that Germanay boasts of maintaining a good healthcare system and i was glad that i wasnt sick earlier in my 4 years of stay but now i certainly regret it. I was disappointed that after walking 10 mins in this freakishly stormy weather, i was turned away. But before i left i asked the assistant to give it in writing that they dont take any new patients. She flatly refused and very rudely gestured me to get the f**k out of the office.

She did suggest that i go to another doctor nearby (without appointment) but i know from reviews that the other one is no less horrible and that would entail another 10 min walk.

Is it really possible that a doctor/assistant deny a patient from basic treatment?? Would anyone be able to point out any laws??

Sorry i'm very dizzy right now and not in sense of mind with throbbing headache, but had to get this out!!

Thanks for reading!

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Posted

between i'm public insured

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Posted

yes i did called in by phone before going and the assistant said she doesnt make any appointment but i can come straigthtaway and wait in the wartezimmer

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Posted

Yes, it is normal. Go to another doctor. And it is better to give them a call first and ask them if they can take you.

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Posted

Ok, if they can refuse to take in new patients, what if the other doctors (there are in total 3) in the small village of 8000 people also deny taking in new patients then what happens?

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Posted

Go to a hospital.

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Posted

Just wait a few days, then your cold will be gone. Problem solved. Next.

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Posted

Yeah that seems to be the last resort, between thanks for the input.

I have complete body ache, headache feeling that my head would burst, a nerve on my forehead is swollen which i've never seen earlier, dizziness, cant eat, fever comes and goes by...

And yes i finally got an appointment 20 mins in another village, phew what an odyssey. Its sad to know that such thing could happen which i never imagined in my life.

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Posted

While I do sympathise, cold and flu plus lovely weather like today's snow/rain/mush is not nice. But at the end of the day, it's not life-threatening, it's just man flu. Get over yourself, stop the drama and start ingesting lots of liquids and vitamin C, and get enough rest.

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Posted

so she said come and wait and then told you to leave?

are you sure there wasn't a misunderstanding and she meant - all our appointments are full (because everybody has the flu at the minute) but you can come and wait and see if we get a cancellation.

edit:at Allers and Frolein and the like,I have the same flu at the moment and for me the doctor visit is for one reason ..sick note (attest)the flu I can take care of myself

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Posted

Very true. OP says he caught a "cold virus" - I think subconsciously I was trying to make out his drama wasn't quite so bad by writing "cold and flu", although it appears he just has a bad cold.

Depending on his employer, he will need a sick note, so does need to see a doctor. However, the old adage is still true: Recovering from a cold will take 7 days without a doctor, a week with.

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Posted

Can they reject you? Yes and no...

No if it is an emergency, if you are in bad pains etc - both professional ethics and legal frameworks for doctors make it utterly clear, that they can't reject you then

Yes, if you come as a "normal patient"...and especially one with public health insurance ...and if there is no dire emergency at hand. They can then defer you to another doctor or the hospital. It could be that indeed the doctor has already too many patients in his files that he/she simply feels that adding any more will only lead to less time and poor(er) services to each patient, thus there can be bona fide reasons for that. It could also be that the doctor will only want a certain max percentage of his patients to be with public health insurance as he needs to reserve more time for privately insured patients where he can bill higher for his hours of work/treatment, otherwise he would think that his whole business/budget is in jeopardy from having too many public insured patients. Last but not least - but that does usually happen more at the end of a year or quartil: the public health insurance budget may have run out for his "shop", i.e. he has had too many patients/treatments/costs for this quartil or year and that the public health insurance (for instance TKK) won't pay anymore for further treatments until the next quartil/year. In such a case the doctor would basically pay himself for your treatment...somewhow one can understand the reluctance then to accept anyone in anew. Obviously, in cases of emergency, as said above, none of this will/may apply and you can expect to get treatment when in pain or hemoraghing on the floor in front of the receptionist desc...

Cheerio

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Posted

Can't be that bad if you're still up and posting. And I wonder why it's such a surprise that even doctors can just see a limited amount of patients a day. It's not that they are obliged to send other patients away who have been there before you.

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Posted

I've been told several times in the US that the doctor is not accepting new patients. It's a way to make sure the doc has enough time to cover all of the responsibilities she or he takes on. In Germany, I've never ever been denied an appointment, especially if I call with a few days notice. I definitely wouldn't go walking int he rain without a fixed appointment.

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Posted

Colds are a life threatening condition in Germany if you caught a "zug" before :o

Anyways OP, nice drama but a pointer for real world action. Spare yourself the walk nexttime and phone ahead.

1.You will be informed if you may come at all.

2.You will be (usually) given a time to appear ("come by in an hour/two so you don't have to wait in the waiting room to long").

No drama mama.

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Posted

Interestingly enough, as an insurance broker, I often ask a client to go to a doc for a check up before taking out private health insurance. This has become a problem in Hamburg ( don´t know about anywhere else ) - last year one guy had to go to 4 doctors before a doctor would do the tests - even though they would have got paid for it. The reason they gave this particular client " it´s not worth it ".

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Posted

In that case, I would just make the appointment and give no reason. Tell the doc once he/she comes in the examination room.

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Posted

Spare yourself the walk nexttime and phone ahead.

yes i did called in by phone before going and the assistant said she doesnt make any appointment but i can come straigthtaway and wait in the wartezimmer

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Posted

But at the end of the day, it's not life-threatening, it's just man flu. Get over yourself, stop the drama and start ingesting lots of liquids and vitamin C, and get enough rest.

I recall you mentioned you use to be a nurse and you don't know influenza can cause mortality?

Where do you get off telling him "to get over himself and stop the drama"? This is insensitive and lacks compassionate when he said he's sick and has dizziness and that's why he sought treatment. He's old enough to know how sick he feels and determine what he needs to try to feel better.

although it appears he just has a bad cold.

Until a thorough medical assessment is done, none of us know exactly what he has. We have to be careful minimizing the severity of what he has or saying if it's just a bad cold or flu as without an assessment no one really knows what it is he has or even how to treat it. If he felt bad enough to go to a doctor, he should find another doctor to seek care from.

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Posted

This is NOT about the doctor having so many patients today that s/he couldn't fit another one in - but it IS indeed common here that doctors whose waiting rooms are always packed will tell you 'sorry, no new patients'. Except, as has been said, in case of emergency.

But it IS annoying when you ring up first and (seeing as no appt is needed) the receptionist just assumes you're a patient there, and once you get there & receptionist discovers you're not, sends you back home.

Now, JUST IN CASE other doctor's surgeries in the area were to say the same thing, just go back to whichever doctor you think you like best (or have heard positive stuff about) and tell them that the others are NOT TAKING NEW PATIENTS EITHER. SOMEone will have to take you. Sometimes that might take some persuasion.

If there are surgeries around with more than ONE doctor, likelihood is that they will have the largest remaining capacity.

Best of luck, and get well soon, OP!

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Posted

Our experience last week was about the same, I fully sympathize with the OP.

My wife had many symptoms of the flu and high fever. I know the doctor well but he said he could send a Notarzt, who said it was the flu but she would first treat the body pains. Voltaren didn't help that much. The next day I tried again to persuade the doctor to visit the patient at home, but he had no time, he said. So I took my wife to the clinic, which is just a 5-min walk. The junior doctor (must have just finished medical school and training) did a thorough check and prescribed Ottrivän, which didn't help.

After the blood test results came in the afternoon, the senior doctor telephoned to say my wife should take anti-biotics. He said to call 116 117 if that didn't help. It didn't. Then I found out that that number is for an outpatient clinic near Hauptbahnhof. I thought it was better to try my luck at Klinikum Grosshadern, which is much closer. There the service was much better and after another blood test and some waiting (may be around 2 hrs) my wife was admitted where she had to stay 5 nights).

Would she have gotten better attention, and sooner, if we had private health insurance? Is it a good time to switch?

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Posted

Its always a good idea to get a hausartz, mine is wonderful and will see me any time he is at his praxis, I do call him first and then go over when he has time in between his appointments. I work at a kindergarten and do get sick alot, its gotten better now, probably my immune system is stronger :)

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