A FRANTIC mum was forced to take her daughter, screaming with pain, all the way from their Rigside home to East Kilbride on Sunday to find a doctor to treat the youngster.
The £150 round trip by taxi throws into relief the story in the Gazette of a fortnight ago which revealed that providing out-of-hours doctor coverage in the Clydesdale area was still a major problem despite GPs being offered the equivalent of £200,000 a year to provide an evening and weekend service.
On Monday the mum – who asked not to be named – told the Gazette of the harrowing consequences of that gap in NHS cover.
Still shaken and angry, she told us: “I want to know what’s happened to our NHS.
“My daughter has a serious ear infection and we went to the doctor in Rigside on August 8 and she was given some painkillers and antibiotics. We were told it was a ‘viral infection’ and she should only take the antibiotics if it didn’t go away quickly.
“However, on Saturday it flared up and she was in agony; neither of us got any sleep that night and so,on Sunday morning, I phoned NHS 24 assuming we’d get to see a doctor at Lanark or at Wishaw General Hospital.
“When my kids have been sick in the past, that’s where we’ve got appointments in the past ...but not this time.
“I was told that the nearest available doctor was at the A&E Department at the East Kilbride hospital.
“They sent a taxi to take us there and back and I noticed from the meter that it was £75 each way.
“Thank God the NHS picked up the bill for that but it seems a lot of money to spend which could have been saved if there had been an out-of-hours doctor on call at Lanark or even at Wishaw.”
For more on this story pick up a copy of this week’s Carluke and Lanark Gazette, which is in the shops now.