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Appointment times (2) Thu, Apr 22, 2010
I went to a doctor yesterday.  My appointment was at 9:30am.  I was on time.  I saw the doctor at 10:40am.  He was not on time.  I personally didn't have too much of a problem with this situation because I had a good book with me.  But honestly, what's the point of setting up an appointment if all parties involved are beyond a shadow of a doubt sure that the appointment will not under any circumstances be kept?  It's an exercise in delusion. 

What ends up happening is essentially a modified first-come-first-served system for patients with an appointment.  If you show up on time, it doesn't mean you'll be seen on time.  You have to wait in line behind the people with appointments earlier than yours, which essentially negates the purpose of an appointment.  I suppose the alternative -- the absence of appointment times -- wouldn't be all that attractive either:  A veritable free-for-all, with long wait times and the possibility of not even getting to see a doctor. 

Perhaps we could adopt a more rigid system involving financial incentives:  One minute accounts for 1% of money exchanged.  So if the patient is ten minutes late, that's 10% more income for the doctor.  If the doctor is an hour and ten minutes late (as in my case), that saves me 70% of the cost of the visit.  Economics solves healthcare. #health