Monday, February 22, 2010

GP changing clientele not significant

GP's changing clientele not significant

A Tasmanian GP saw an increase in cancer patients and investigated. The Tas government declared that there wasn't a significant increase in cancer in her area. What's going on?

Certainly it is a good thing that she is investigating this and other correlated things (like oyster problems in the bay). However it is easy to imagine why a GP might see a changing client base.

When they first get to the town they have a short waiting list or no waiting list. This attracts people who have an immediate minor problem. As they become better known, particularly if they are good and are a native speaker of English, then they attract more customers. This makes the waiting list longer. People who want a quick fix or prescription go to the imported doctor with the shorter waiting list. People with more complex problems that have developed over time and not immediately perceived as urgent, will put up with the longer waiting list to see the doctor with a good commend of English and/or other perceived virtues. So that GP will naturally see an increasing number of cancer patients.