For hundreds of years the method of getting information and services from doctors has been for people like you and me to traipse from one to another having person to person interviews, with very little prior knowledge as to who might be the best ones to see, and, in particular, what their fees might be, working on a trial and error basis, because that was the only way available.
Presumably at some stage – and it would be interesting to know when it might have been and how – various specialties were introduced, like urologists, cardiologists, neurologists etc. etc. and GPs were introduced on the basis that they were able to tell us who was best at what.
In other words, perhaps 120 years ago, there were no specialists and no GPs.
(We’d love to hear from any readers who know more about this than we do.)
What has become more obvious to us in the last 10 days or so, (it’s always been a bit obvious,) as we have written to about 30 urologists simply asking what their fee for a particular procedure might be, is that lot’s of them are desperate for the status quo to continue, in fact they will fight tooth and nail to try and ensure that it continues. In particular lot’s of them have reacted with hostility to the email we’ve sent them, objecting strongly to any suggestion that they should share with anyone details on the fees they charge without them having a face to face consultation.
Guys, two things have happened in the last 25 years or so.
(1) The amount of medical knowledge in the words has grown and grown – whereas 120 years ago it might have filled just a few books, now it could fill whole libraries.
(2) GPs have not been able to keep up with who are the best at what, although, of course, it’s being pretended otherwise. GPs are being slow to admit that they don’t know things themselves, even though they are hopelessly out of their depth, and when they do, they are often referring patients to others who are disastrously bad, with tragic consequences. But you wouldn’t know it, because specialists kowtow to them as though they are gods so they will refer them more work.
The good news, and it’s really good news for you and me, is that 1 in 8 to 12 doctors respond to our/your emails with more or less satisfactory replies, which is enough for us to be able to forget the rest.