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Forums / Treatments, health professionals and therapies / Trouble with group GP practice & obtaining S8 medication - toxic practice?

Topic: Trouble with group GP practice & obtaining S8 medication - toxic practice?

10 posts, 0 answered
  1. Hanna3
    Hanna3 avatar
    1302 posts
    11 February 2020

    Hi all,

    I have moved to a new regional town and needed to find a new GP. I'm on an S8 medication for panic attacks so it requires a phone call from a GP to obtain a script - not usually a big deal.

    Went to a big group GP practice here and the woman GP I saw was nasty, halved my anxiety medication and put the form through to the heath dept before I had the chance to stop her. I found her rude and she made inappropriate put-down remarks to me.

    I tried a second doctor at the practice on the advice of the receptionist, was told to call her Dr Jane as I didn't know how to pronounce her surname and neither did the reception staff, when I called her hello Dr Jane she blew up and said how dare I, I was to call her Dr Smith (I'm using made up names here obviously). So I ruled her out.

    Third GP at the practice was recommended to me. She didn't want to phone for the S8 drug but did so and I got it fine. That was the last visit, although I could see at that visit that her face changed when she realised I had tried two other doctors at the practice...they don't seem to like that.

    Went again yesterday, she told me I had to go back to the first doctor. I asked why, she said to get the S8 med. I said but you can give me that. She rang and got it no problem. Then asked me why I didn't like the first doctor. I found this highly inappropriate to talk to one doctor about a colleague of hers, so I simply said "I don't care for her manner". She said but other people like her. I said well I don't care for her manner.

    I came out shaking. Why in a group practice am I not free to see another GP there, other people do if their usual doctor is booked out or away etc. Why is it such an issue at a group practice, where all the doctors have access to my heath records, that I see the same one all the time for the S8 script? I am feeling like the practice is toxic the doctors seem so unpleasant. In a regional town it's hard to find a new GP. Has anyone ese had this kind of experience? Any advice (other than find another practice which I'm probably going to have to do but it's hard). Thanks.

  2. romantic_thi3f
    Community Champion
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    romantic_thi3f avatar
    2547 posts
    11 February 2020 in reply to Hanna3

    Hi Hanna3,

    Thank you for your post.

    This is probably the part where I wish I had comforting words or advice, but instead in my head I am thinking sammmmeeee.

    I have a medical clinic just down the road, and the doctors there have been anything from rude to ignorant to probably disobeying their practice rules. The only reason I keep trying them is because I had a wonderful GP there once, all my notes are there and it's easy to get to. So, I hear you and you're not alone.

    The best advice probably is to find a good doctor, even though I know that's hard. Maybe there's a good one in the clinic who you haven't seen yet? and yes - stand your ground. It sounds like you are doing that and advocating for yourself already, and that's so important. Plus, not only is it important - but medically necessary (since halving your medication rather than tampering slowly is not a good idea!). I wonder if it might be worth looking into seeing a psychiatrist too? It's someone to see who can support you and they can prescribe you the medication too.

    I hope something works out


  3. calmseeker
    calmseeker avatar
    333 posts
    11 February 2020 in reply to Hanna3

    Hi there Hanna,

    I was wondering how you got on at with your GP after you mentioned it at the café. Sounds like you had a frustrating time. My reply here may not be of much use to you as I probably don't have very helpful advice for you, more so I just wanted to let you know that I understand your frustration due to similar experiences.

    I am pretty sure the S8 anti anxiety med you speak of is the same one I was on. If it is, a few years back this particular med had some legislative changes made in regards to how easily available the government wanted it to be. I went from obtaining it easily with multiple repeats to finding it very difficult to get. At that stage I didn't have a regular GP, nonetheless I was getting it from the same practice and the docs I was seeing had seen me before. I was astounded that basically overnight I was given a script for this med without the blink of an eye and all of a sudden I was being treated with like a criminal asking for it. A GP said to me "Who on earth put you on this and why?" then he disputed how many tablets the script had been previously written out for and said "Well where else are you getting this drug from?" as if I had been doctor shopping or something. I was insulted, devastated, worried and felt very unsupported with all of this. I became very anxious going to GP to get this med that in the end I decided I was going to stop taking it. I weaned off over a few months. Nobody wants to take meds but this drug was really helping me at the time. A few weeks after not having it I had severe panic attacks and a lot of nasty physical symptoms started to occur. I just felt very unsupported with the whole process, I wasn't given any help or advice, no alternative to the medication, just nothing. I really think some GPs have a lot to answer for. I know some people are really lucky to find great GPs but in my experience its been extremely difficult finding someone who has any interest in treating mental health sufficiently.

    Ironically, I had to be convinced and talked into starting to take this particular S8 med to begin with, I never wanted it in the first place and GP had to really push it with me and told me that my life may just get easier if I took it. I will be interested in the advice you receive from others here, and I hope both of us find a great GP who knows what they are doing and is kind and attentive. CS

  4. Hanna3
    Hanna3 avatar
    1302 posts
    11 February 2020 in reply to romantic_thi3f

    Hi Romantic Thief,

    It seems to be a real problem with a lot of people on BB to find a good GP! Three bad doctors in the same practice, all of them rude, is not a good look so I'm inclined to try yet another practice. I worked in hospitals most of my life and I'm used to doctors and I'm not in awe of them as they seem to expect people to be!

    I'm still in touch with my old GP of many years and he had no doubt I was getting withdrawal symptoms from halving the dose, but I seem to be more or less OK now given that I'm in a new town without much support and the GPs are adding to the anxiety by their behaviour! I stood my ground because I'm used to doctors from so many years working with them and I won't be intimidated by them. However it's stressful and unnecessary.

    I am afraid I have absolutely no faith in either psychologists or psychiatrists, after my psychiatrist abandoned me in a shocking way, and so I no longer have one and feel I have managed the last many years well without them, but thanks for the suggestion.

    I think I'll try another GP practice with something simple and see how I go. Thanks for the post I appreciate it.

  5. Hanna3
    Hanna3 avatar
    1302 posts
    11 February 2020 in reply to calmseeker

    Hi calmseeker, it may be the same - I was put on it in my 20's for panic attacks, at the time it was not known to be addictive. I'm now on a very small dose due to them halving it when I arrived here (not a good time to halve my anti-anxiety medication when I'm in a new town without familiar surroundings or support group!)

    Anyway I'm more or less going OK on it, athough tapering down more slowly would have been far preferable.

    It's still only a quick phone call, takes them 3 minutes, and they must know from the dose that I'm not an addict or doctor shopping as I've only been to the same practice to get it prescribed (you can't get it prescribed by multiple practices at the same time). I think the practice is bad with three rude GPs in a row. I will have to try elsewhere, however it's been an incident which has upset me a lot and made me extremely anxious, upset and angry at how I was treated, with no regard from the GPs there as to how their behaviour was affecting my MH.

    Thanks for the supportive post, you did well to get off it, I've been on it for decades and I think moving to a new place and just still settling in is not a good time to be trying to get right off it - halving it has already been difficult. I appreciate your support, thanks so much.

  6. TheBigBlue
    TheBigBlue avatar
    63 posts
    11 February 2020 in reply to Hanna3

    Hi Hanna3,

    Excuse my language but the treatment you received at that medical practice sounds like sh*t!

    If there is another practice you can go to, definitely try them out. I have anxiety too & being treated like that would make me too scared to ever go back.

    Best of luck, I hope you find someone understanding & who takes the time to listen & try to work things out with you

  7. Guest_201
    blueVoices member
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Guest_201 avatar
    1294 posts
    11 February 2020

    Hi Hanna.

    Wow, that is absolutely disgusting in so many ways that you're being treated like that, I'm so sorry.

    You have your rights, and one of those is to choose whoever you want to see - a GP included. You have the right to be treated with respect in all aspects and taken seriously. They're pretty basic rights but they should be acknowledged by health professionals and they should treat you kindly and help you, even if you're just getting a prescription.

    I'm so sorry that the whole clinic is treating you horribly. If it makes you feel any better, I also live in a small regional town (4,000 or so people here). There's only the 1 clinic in the actual town. So I know how hard it is to find a good GP & health professionals who deal with mental health, trust me.

    My advice would be contact the HCC (Health Complaints Commissioner), or even the MHCC (Mental Health Complaints Commissioner), look on their website for how to make a complaint & do it. Because how you're being treated is just wrong in so many ways, you don't deserve any of it, and I'm sorry you're unfortunately dealing with such rude unprofessional people.

    I hope you find a GP that you feel comfortable with, who treats you with respect, who you can trust, & who does their job correctly, including prescribing you meds. & someone that actually has knowledge, especially of anything mental health.

    Again I'm so sorry you're dealing with this. I know how you feel because my GP is horrible too & they make me feel bad for changing GPs there. I don't know why. Even the receptionists are rude & unhelpful there.

    I really hope things get better for you, & I hope you can find the courage to make a complaint because this should not happen to you let alone continue to happen, & it shouldn't happen to anybody. It definitely needs to be addressed & complained about in my opinion because none of it is acceptable in any way.

    Love & hugs, I hope things improve & you find a GP who is good for you in all the ways you'd like.


  8. Hanna3
    Hanna3 avatar
    1302 posts
    11 February 2020 in reply to TheBigBlue

    Hi BigBlue,

    Yes thanks that's the sort of reply I needed - someone who also thinks it's absolutely crappy behaviour on the part of the doctor(s)! It's completely unethical for one doctor to ask me why I did not like one of their colleagues - it amounts to gossip. Which is why I simply gave the same response as previously, I simply did not like the other doctor's manner. That gives no detailed response.

    I'm thinking of trying a practice at the local small university, go about something completely simple and try one of the GPs out. Even that is too exhausting to contemplate today I am still trying to recover from how appallingly unethical it was to ask me why I disliked another doctor at the same practice! Does she want to talk about her colleagues behind their backs/why is she so curious? I am entitled to find a GP I am comfortable with. That is all she needs to know. Blimey I'm having a day of trying to get my equilibrium back again after that lot. Thanks for the single most helpful post of all, you're right, it was absolutely S**T behaviour on her part! Thanks for posting!

    1 person found this helpful
  9. Hanna3
    Hanna3 avatar
    1302 posts
    11 February 2020 in reply to Guest_201

    Hi Tayla,

    Thanks for posting. I've worked with doctors most of my life, including helping to train them, so I know the behaviour of the GPs here was unethical and improper.

    I have no faith in the HCCC, I did once report a specialist with whom I worked who was completely unethical in his practice, that was done with the assistance of a medical specialist friend of mine, but the HCCC wiped the complaint - we believe the doctor had friends in the right place.

    So I'll try another practice altogether. Thanks for posting I appreciate your concern. Cheers xx

  10. Guest_201
    blueVoices member
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Guest_201 avatar
    1294 posts
    11 February 2020 in reply to Hanna3

    Fair enough Hanna, sorry to hear about that.

    You could try the AMA (Australian Medical Association) for a complaint perhaps.

    Other than that I don't know, sorry.


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