‘Imagine running through an endless spreadsheet pursued by an insatiable, anthropomorphised photocopier that wants to tear out your soul and Xerox it to death before shoving the useless skin-envelope of your former self through a giant shredder.’ These are words Colin, a despondent office worker, used to describe his working week. Not surprisingly he, and many others like him, feel let down by the government’s idea of seven-day GP opening.
‘A trip to the GP surgery during office hours used to be an event,’ says Colin.
‘We would all pray for a mild symptom to come along, like an itchy ear or a sweaty armpit, so we could get out for a bit. Being able to spend half an hour in the relative calm of a doctor’s waiting room with a copy of Readers Digest was better than listening to the office boss tell us about his skiing holiday or his Volvo’s phenomenal braking system or how he once shot a wolf with a paint-ball gun’.
‘Besides,’ continues Colin, ‘Saturday mornings are reserved for hangovers: there’s no way I’m going to waste them on a GP appointment. In fact, when I get home I’m going to write to the Government to tell them that their idea of using the health service to force innocent wage slaves like me to increase the country’s productivity simply cannot be allowed to happen. I used to be in a band you know!’
Dr Kevin Hinkley is a GP in Edinburgh