What does this question mean to you? For many people unless you live in country and rural areas it is not a question that springs to mind when you are sick. If you live in metropolis you pick up the phone and call a General Practitioners office or get to the Emergency department of your closest hospital. It’s really easy (in most cases) the biggest problem most have to deal with is the lack of appointment availability or having to be put off till the next day.
In the country we have such limited services available to us that when people go out of their way to provide services they are well supported. Sometimes you can ring a GP office on the Monday to be told only “Emergency” appointments are available and the next available is 4 days away. Not good if you need a sick certificate for work, have run out of your medication script and need a new one, or injured yourself over the weekend and need a medical examination. When you are sick and need to see a Dr it would be great if there was more than one available.
Living in the country or rural areas brings limited medical access, for some reason Dr’s can’t see moving to a country area for a couple of years worth while. Financially it is but they want what the city offers; anonymity, back up support and a rotating roster or just a normal working week, Monday to Friday is what they desire. All we need is a qualified Dr to train an unqualified Dr so that in country areas there is always someone here. We would be happy to have a stable workforce but realise this is the dream not the reality.
Imagine if you get a serious illness or are pregnant? You have to leave your area, support network and travel to the city to, in some cases languish in a hospital bed for weeks without regular contact from loved ones and family. There are people who feel un-confident even driving in the city, so this limits their ability to get to see loved ones and become reliant on others to get them there. This is a skill I will never give up, I want to be able to get myself anywhere I want without relying on others which can be inconvenient to say the least.
When you have jobs or farms to run it can take 2 to 3 hours of your day driving into see a Dr, so people must feel sick to go there. I for one hate wasting the Dr’s time, so I make sure my scripts are up to date, if I need referrals I make sure I get them and I talk about my issues. It is called streamlining my medical concerns without having to go back weekly or monthly. We take our health for granted when we are well, we take our medical services fro granted when we have easy access to them, but living in the country we appreciate our health (there is no sick pay for the self employed) we appreciate our medical practitioner and wish we had more of them. For those sitting in hospitals far away from family & friends I hope you get home soon and I hope you are well quick enough for discharge