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Masterton Medical aims to reduce GP wait times

Masterton Medical is asking its staff and 22,500 patients to keep it brief. PHOTO/FILE

CAL ROBERTS
[email protected]

In a move to reduce waiting times, Masterton Medical wants staff and patients to keep it brief.

Aiming to improve service at the clinic, it is asking everybody to stick to their allotted 15-minute appointment times to stay on schedule.

Masterton Medical general manager Robyn Wilson said there was often a legitimate reason an appointment ran late, “but sometimes it can simply be due to doctors and patients losing track of time”.

Wilson said the clinic was asking its doctors to keep to time, particularly for routine matters.

“We are also calling on our patients to help the GPs stay on schedule by being punctual for appointments, discussing a maximum of two issues per consultation and keeping to the 15 minutes allocated,” she said.

Wilson understood there would always be instances when appointments ran over time, such as when dealing with an acutely unwell patient or a patient who receives life-changing news – but said they should be the exception, not the norm.

She also wanted to remind patients that an appointment was for one person only.

There are 22,500 patients enrolled at Masterton Medical and new enrolments are on hold until another GP joins the clinic.

Wilson said wait times for an appointment varied from GP to GP.

Some of Masterton Medical’s suggestions to ease waiting room congestion included calling the practice before an appointment to check if the GP is running to schedule, arriving five minutes early for an appointment, discussing a maximum of two issues per 15-minute consultation and booking a longer appointment if there were more issues to discuss, or more time needed – for which additional fees apply.

The fee depends on age and is based on 15-minute increments. An adult’s 15-minute appointment costs $40.50. It doubles to $81.00 for a 30-minute appointment.

8 COMMENTS

  1. Maybe they could consider extending clinical hours to 8 or 9pm 3 nights per week or 2 nights plus Saturday 9am until 1pm.

  2. This is a nice idea, however in reality by the time you are called into the appointment, 5 minutes has already gone. You then spend 2-3 minutes awkwardly exchanging pleasantries, meanwhile staring horrified at the ticking clock conveniently placed just outside of your vision. Finally, 8 minutes into this appointment you rush to spit out the issues, desperately hoping for a full and thorough consult in the remaining 7 minutes. Murphys law then kicks in, and the GP has trouble accessing the computer, or types very slowly, or even worse says “I’ll make a note to do this later.” No. I dont think a GP can safely see a patient every 15 minutes and still do a safe, thorough and efficient consult. All this will accomplish is improving the monthly stats.

  3. That’s terrible. When you’re ill or need to see the doctor, it sometimes takes longer. And for $48 I expect to see my doctor for as long as it takes. It should be about people and not money. That’s just greedy considering when it use to be First St Doctors it was personal and not corporate.
    If whaiora can keep their practice motivated by a personal touch then why can’t Masterton Medical

  4. I was unwell recently and because I couldn’t get an appointment was told I could wait for clinic. This took exactly 2 hours and that I didn’t mind but the treatment I got didn”t work at all so I then waited several days getting sicker to see my own doctor who prescribed what I should have got the first time.
    Was I offered a refund?? Of course not.
    The whole service is impersonal and often the treatment is not good as it could be. This is solely because of the large nature of the clinic and the ” fly by night doctors that come and go”

  5. I recently moved here and after some “trials” now have a very good doctor. However I don’t think this centre realizes that a great many of their patients are very unhappy and refer to it as ” just another money making outfit”. I have joined several clubs here and every time I am out I hear complaints about Masterton Medical. Most complaints usually are about the time limit, the costs for appts for treatment that often doesn’t work, the lack of referrals when requested, the lack of knowledge of the overseas doctors about local services available and the poor doctor/ patient repore. The list is quite long.
    It seems to me having a giant centre like this ruins the whole doctor patient relationship. There is a strong sense of annoyance in the community.

  6. Wow. 40.50 for 15 minutes.
    This puts so.much pressure on a patient who can sometimes struggle to find that money let alone 81.00 if their appointment goes over. It is no wonder people don’t visit their Dr when they should. Like everything medical care has become a money making business.

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