Do as the locals do, regardless of how peculiar it seems to you.
As soon as you land in a new area, be it moving from Rose Bay in Sydney to Manly Vale, or from Yokohama to Winchester there are a few necessities beyond the obvious (house and school fall in tho this category) of life that need to be sorted such as:
- Establish a local coffee shop
- Find a fabulous hairdresser, manicurist, beautician etc
- Find a reputable chiropractor, masseuse
- Locate the supermarket, butcher, fruit shop, fish monger, baker, florist
- Secure a babysitter/child minder
- Google Top 10 things to do so you've something to do on weekends
- Google International Womens Club, or American Womens Club to see where they are in relation to where you live with a view to joining
Then there’s the dentist, GP, optometrist and other specialists that one hopes one never needs but probably need to find over time, tho not straight away.
Most GP surgeries in Sydney are pretty much open to accepting new patients. Some surgeries like the one we belonged to often had to ‘close their books to new patients’ as the GP’s ‘lists’ were full. The only thing that annoyed me was you had to have an appointment to see the Dr which always struck me as odd cos who on earth knows in advance of when they are ill? Anyhow, we managed as DrB always slotted us in. We love you DrB and miss you lots.
Anyhow, having arrived in Winchester a few weeks ago, we weren’t going to bother with a GP (or dentist etc) until we needed on, right? We lasted 3 years in Japan without one.
Our relocation manager explained we can’t register with a GP centre until we have our address as that will dictate where we are eligible to go. As we’ll be in Kings Worthy, we can register with any one of 6 GP centres within our area. She kindly sent thru the weblinks and we’ve Googled and done as much research as one can do online. Thank goodness we’ve a few friends with kids here so I asked them ‘which GP centre do you go to and which GP do you see’.
We printed off all the registration forms and questionnaires and have completed them.
MissM has had a temp the past 48 hours, a cough and sore neck so I thought ‘best take her to the Dr, just in case.’ No way do I want/need her conking out!
When I rang to make an appointment, I explained we’ve just arrived and as yet I haven’t registered but I’ve got all the paperwork ready, and can email them our TV license as proof of residence.
Nope – don’t have email; all proof of residence needs to be hard copy (and here I am thinking we’ve left that sort of thing behind in Japan).
They can treat MissM as a ‘temporary visitor’ and asked me lots of questions (fair enough).
‘Sister will phone you to do triage. Please keep the line open so she doesn’t have to keep phoning’ Sorry? Can’t I make an appointment?
No – sister will assess your daughter first.
Sister rang within about 40 minutes (lucky MissM wasn’t serious, mind you I’d phone for an ambulance if she were) and asked me lots of questions then said ‘I don’t think there’s a need for an appointment’ to which I said, you are probably right but I’d still like one today please as we’ve only been here for 5 weeks from Japan and we’re not used to the local lurgies I’d rather be on the safe side, esp as she does tend to conk out (which I’d already explained)
So, had the appointment just now with a very pleasant Dr and MissM’s fine. YEAH.
A new friend also suggested that we join such-n-such dentist practise as she saw they have recently re opened their books for new patients. So that's a few more forms to complete next week. It does seem odd to register for something that you 'might' need in the future. Again, in Sydney i asked a BF who she took the kids to. I rang them, said i was a friend of MsS who recommended me, that we lived in Japan but i wanted MissM checked while we were here. Appointment made, money paid. THANK YOU.
So it seems, that it’s not just Japan that has ‘hard copy only’ policy. Mind you having been away from Sydney for 5 years maybe things have changed at home too and I would have to fill in as many forms as a new patient.
Thank goodness DrB has kept us on her books, even tho we only visit once a year.