Anyone hoping to see a GP in Northern Ireland has been urged to ”book early if they want an appointment”.
“If you think you’re likely to be sick, it’s best to plan well in advance,” said Dundonald doctor Hope Enwide. “The next available appointment at my surgery is 24th May 2021, but I’m thinking of being ill then myself so I wouldn’t bet on it.”
Antrim mum of two Lynn Jection said she was thinking of booking her family on an all-expenses paid trip to her local surgery during the summer of 2027. “The kids will be old enough to enjoy the trip by then, though we’ll have to save up for it, all our illnesses anyway.”
Ballymena receptionist Ava Nunleft told us that it is possible to beat the queue. “There are sometimes cancellations, but you need to be on the ball,” she told us. “If you phone us at 3 am you can spend forty minutes navigating the various different options, then wait on hold for three weeks. When you eventually get through I might find a space in about 6 months time.”
“Alternatively, you can just go to casualty when you get a dose of the flu, like everybody else.”
Medical experts have denied that the long waiting times could lead to serious illnesses being missed or ignored by patients.
“There’s no evidence to suggest that spending several months with a serious cough, or ignoring that dodgy looking mole on your skin has any effect on the detection of disease,” explained top consultant Daisy Hill.
We had planned to ask the Stormont Helath Minister to comment but then remembered that there isn’t one.