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Doctors emergency? - January 18th 2013, 11:06 AM

Hi guys

At my doctors surgery, you can ring in and ask to speak to a doctor. Sometimes the doctor I prefer to talk to is on call and is available for emergencies only that day. When they ask if it's an emergency, I never know what to say. With mental health/suicidal thoughts/behaviours etc, where is the line between emergency and not?

Just would appreciate any thoughts as I'm unsure. Thanks

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Re: Doctors emergency? - January 18th 2013, 11:44 AM

Generally I think that's kind of subjective. If you feel it's an emergency to you then I feel it's an emergency too. If you feel bad enough that in your mind you need to talk to someone ASAP then I trust that that means your mood is in such a place where it could be defined as an emergency.

That being said, we're trained that it's an emergency only if you or someone else is in physical danger. This means self injury, suicidal thoughts, or homicidal thoughts. However, I don't think your doctor will ever scold you if you call in saying it's an emergency because talking to them will help you.

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Re: Doctors emergency? - January 18th 2013, 11:54 AM

Suicidal thoughts requires you to call somebody, I'm sure your doctor wouldn't mind you ringing and saying it's an emergency due to him/her wanting you to be safe, It is classified as an emergency.

Mental health I'm pretty sure, depending on the situation is also an emergency, if it leads into you wishing to harm someone else or yourself.

If you don't think what you're ringing about is an emergency, you could call a hotline and see what they think.


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Re: Doctors emergency? - January 18th 2013, 04:12 PM

On call doctors tend to get back to you on the same day whether it's an emergency or not. So if you feel you just need to talk to someone, ask for the on call doctor to give you a ring and they'll probably book you in to see them, on that same day. I know if at my doctors for example, I want to speak to a specific doctor, they only have to contact me in the next three days. So if its urgent and you need to see someone that day, you pretty much get one of the on call doctors, it doesn't matter if you want your regular GP.

Typically, if it's an emergency, I have been told, that it would be a situation, where I feel "unsafe". For example, you're seriously considering killing yourself or harming yourself/others which could result in injury. I think though, if you're that state, where you honestly feel like you can't even cope for another ten minutes, then it's better to go to your local A&E/Casualty or to contact the crisis team in your area. Its what they're there for.

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