Do you know what to do when you call the clinic and the receptionist tells you that there are no places left for today? The National Health Fund has published guidelines for patients.
Although the flu season has not started yet, there are already queues at clinics, and it is difficult to get to a primary care doctor. Most people try to make an appointment by phone by calling the registration desk. Patients complain that the lines are overloaded and they have to wait a long time to be connected, and when they do manage to connect, they are told that there is no chance of getting to the doctor. As explained on the website of the National Health Fund, you need to know that it is the primary care physician (primary health care physician) who decides whether to provide the patient with urgent medical assistance on the day of reporting, and not the registration. Therefore, we always have the right to ask for contact with a doctor who will assess whether an appointment on the day of registration is necessary.
Who has priority right to make an appointment with a doctor?
In some clinics, priority is given to people who register in person. The Patient Rights Ombudsman explains that this is not right. As he says:
Registration forms cannot be differentiated; there is no basis for favoring patients who came to the clinic in person and registering these patients first.
Registration should answer patient calls throughout the day, consistent with the clinic’s opening hours. Failure to provide patients with a real option to register via telephone violates their rights. You can also find out at the clinic whether it is possible to register via an online form. If there is none, you can send an e-mail requesting registration, which is also a full form of registering with a doctor, just like reporting in person.
What to do if you are refused registration?
According to the National Health Fund’s guidelines, if the registration refuses to make an appointment for a doctor, then:
first of all, you should ask the head of the healthcare facility to clarify the matter,
if, despite an explicit request, an employee of the primary care facility still refuses to make an appointment for you – ask for a written explanation of the refusal,
if you find that the answer provided is insufficient – contact your Provincial Branch of the National Health Fund for help,
if you believe that the patient’s rights have been violated – contact the Patient Ombudsman (tel. 800 190 590, prefix no. 2).
Complaints can be submitted to the Provincial branch of the National Health Fund in person, by phone, by post, or electronically via ePUAP.
Sources: National Health Fund, Patient Ombudsman