An Aberdeen couple fear their dream holiday to celebrate beating stage four cancer is on the rocks – because their GP won’t sign a four-question health check form.
Clare Roberts and Lorraine Grant hope to head to North America next month, stopping in Vancouver and Alaska before cruising through Arctic waters to Greenland.
They’ve been planning the “bucket list” trip for years, after 56-year-old Lorraine beat rectal cancer, which also spread to her liver.
And while the arrival of Covid meant the holiday had to be paused, another issue has appeared which could put a definite end to the entire excursion.
GP told couple told to go private instead
The cruise firm they’re using requires doctor’s notes from all passengers confirming they’re fit enough to walk on “uneven and slippery” terrain.
But Clare and Lorraine’s local docs say they’re under no obligation to help, telling the couple to go private instead.
Former university professor Clare, 66, says they initially “wasted” three days speaking to receptionists while looking for answers.
At one point they were told to find a pharmacist to sign the form instead, despite it requiring a doctor’s registration details.
“There are 300-odd people going on this trip and they said, occasionally, one or two people can’t get it signed,” Clare explained.
“This form goes everywhere – China, India, Taiwan, the USA, all of Europe.
“Everyone gets it signed apart from two or three people – and this year they seem to be patients at Old Aberdeen Medical Practice.”
‘I could send them my Strava stats’
Clare added: “It is one of the simplest forms I’ve ever seen.
“And if they don’t know us they could easily do a video conference to see us standing on our feet.
“I could even send them my Strava [fitness app stats] – and then they charge accordingly.”
The practice has told us that signing travel forms isn’t covered by its GP contract.
While other clinics may take on private work like this, it says there’s “no obligation” to do the same.
A statement added: “Private providers will be able to provide such services, in a timescale convenient for individuals, allowing GP practices to concentrate on their core duties.”