Thursday, March 12, 2009

Private doctors

I've begun a search for a private GP, using the ubiquitous Google. The results are disappointing, if not disturbing.

There are private GP surgeries that claim to specialise in allergies. However it seems they are mainly interested in offering testing. That's not what I need. For a start there is no simple test for salicylate hypersensitivity (apart from Imperial Leather - but that's not an official test) .

What I need and I suspect many sufferers from allergy is someone to talk to. I want to know what level of symptoms I should put up with. Should I tolerate a chronic stuffy nose or will it inevitably lead to Samter's Triad, nose polyps and asthma? I want to know which minor symptoms are related to the allergy, which are just life and growing older and which are something else entirely.

My NHS GPs acted entirely correctly when symptoms first appeared. They gave me an epipen, advised me to take anti-histamines and referred me to a specialist. The specialist was very busy but made sure I was referred to an expert dietician. That's pretty good for a free service.

The GPs have also been helpful in obtaining Singulair. What they are no good at is linking the condition to those day to day ailments - to the generation of ear wax, to that chronic stuffy nose and occasional sporadic incidents of toothache and sore eye. Now, I know the British government envisages a GP system which may become a little more like other countries, where you have primary care specialists. So you would be able to find primary care allergy specialists on the NHS and the few hospital-based consultants would not be so overloaded. But it's not happening any time soon.

And it seems the private sector is not really much more advanced than the NHS.


No comments: