Ugly Scenes at the Primary Care Centre
The GSD Opposition is astonished to hear of the news surrounding yesterday mornings booking of GP appointments for the month of October at the Primary Care Centre, the start of the new advance appointment system introduced by the new GSLP Government.
The Opposition heard how a queue of over 200, snaking right round the ICC building, had already formed before 8am. Many agitated members of the public, mainly pensioners, awaited their turn, anxious they would not be able to secure an appointment with the doctor of their choice for that month. Witnesses report ugly scenes of arguments, pushing and flared tempers among some of these people waiting to make their appointment.
Opposition Spokesman for Health, Isobel Ellul-Hammond, raised concern for the Primary Care Centre staff, who must have faced a very difficult day in trying to keep everyone calm and explaining the new advance appointment system to concerned members of the public.
Mrs Ellul-Hammond asks: I dont know what happened to the pilot process from 1st April to the 1st of August, as announced by the Government in its press release of 29 March? I would have thought that by 1st October, after feedback from the public and consultation with the health professionals, the scenes witnessed yesterday morning would never have occurred.
The Government has had six months to get their new one month advance appointment system up and running and have failed in its smooth delivery.
The GSD Opposition issued a press release at the time of Dr Cortes announcement of the new system, sounding a note of caution. Mrs Ellul-Hammond said then, in her statement of 11 April: The GSD feels this will not stem the demand requested in a given month and might actually make obtaining an appointment more difficult because of the one month limitation.
The new monthly available slots will fill up very quickly, resulting in an increase in people queuing up early in the morning outside the Primary Care Centre. The GSD Opposition now hopes that these concerns have been heeded by the Government and that there is no repeat of the ugly scenes, inside and outside the Primary Care Centre, witnessed yesterday.
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