"Did GP's neglect kill my father? I think it did."

(as a relative),

Years ago my father had a heart attack, which his GP said was indigestion, despite the fact that he wouldn't go to the doctors for years on end and so was unlikely to do so for something trivial. Also he looked gray and had all the symptoms for a heart attack.

We only found out that it had been a heart attack the first time when he had an ECG after his second heart attack. Again we had called the doctor who said it was indigestion again but that he would come back in a couple of days unless we let him know not to. He didn't come back. Dad looked worse and worse. Eventually Mum called the doctor out again who didn't come for another two hours. He did eventually call an ambulance but who knows what damage could have been avoided had he done his job at any point over those years.

Dad ended up having more heart attacks, two triple bypasses and also lung disease and yet when he went to the same surgery with breathing difficulties he was told that he had a chest infection but that they didn't like giving antibiotics out unless they needed to. My God who are you saving these drugs for if it isn't for elderly men with lung disease and heart conditions? At this point he couldn't breathe well enough to finish a sentence.

Two or three days later Mum called a doctor to the house who promptly issued the antibiotics but Dad died that night.

I'm not suggesting that he had much longer to live but he'd been ticking along until he got that chest infection and any good doctor would have given him antibiotics as a precaution given that he acknowledged there was a chest infection and given my father's medical history and his condition at the time.

To add insult to injury the original doctor who misdiagnosed the first two heart attacks and didn't check on him until prompted (then turned up late) asked my mother 'how the wedding went'. There was no wedding. He'd got mixed up with what was actually my father's funeral. Nice. How's that for neglectful, uncaring and not listening to your patients.

As this is probably all a PR exercise I don't know why I'm bothering to write this. I have almost no faith in GP's or the health service generally. There's the odd good GP I'm sure but I can prove that they've nearly killed me more often than they've saved me. One killed my great Aunt through neglect too.

I'd say that the main problem is that they don't listen and that they don't really care. It's not surprising that they become jaded but their behaviour has enormous consequences so they need to be a bit more mature and selfless than the average person or get a job where they won't kill someone by being slack. They assume that you are hysterical if your are in pain, that you are lying if your symptoms don't fit their lazy assumptions.

You have to do battle to be listened to and then you're seen as a trouble maker.

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