I had my first visit to an Irish doctor's office last week. Mark and I are applying for our Medical Cards, and we needed the signature of a doctor who had a contract with the HSE that would agree to take us on. This apparently required an appointment.
The funny thing is that when you have an appointment, you still get seen in order of arrival. So what happens is, there are chairs placed around the periphery of the waiting room, and then when someone gets seen, everyone gets up and moves down one. It's like musical chairs -- you get up and move every ten minutes or so, as someone comes out of the doctor's office and someone else gets up and goes in.
The doctor is actually the daughter of Mark's childhood doctor. She seemed nice enough. She asked us about medications, if we'd ever been hospitalized, etc. and wrote it down on an index card. Then she signed our form and we were on our way. The Medical Cards take about six to eight weeks to process, which is good because I will be out of my medications by then and desperate for refills. Hopefully I will have no trouble with that. I have heard such horror stories about Irish medicine, it's not even funny.