Is it just me or is it incredibly difficult to see a doctor these days? I'm not sure if it's always been that way as I've only needed to see a doctor for the first time - since I was about 15 - earlier this year. About Jan/Feb I suddenly became one of these people who suffers from Tony Soprano-style panic attacks. I'll be sitting around doing something mundane and suddenly be short of breath, have a pain in the left of my abdomen and, more-often-than-not, I'll black out. You can imagine this was a pretty serious issue when it started happening and I responded by going to A&E a couple of times. When I was seen there the first time it was written off and I was told to see my GP. Then it happened again a few days later and I collapsed at home. At hospital they ran a pile of tests, determined nothing was wrong (suspected it's just panic attacks) and again asked me to see my GP. When I was phoning up I was told to call again at 8.30am because that's the only time you get an appointment. After an hour on hold when I got through to a receptionist I pointed out that it was kind of an emergency and was called back later in the afternoon with an appointment for the next day thanks to a cancellation. Went to see the doctor, more tests, discussion about depression and getting more exercise and I was fine later. Things have been alright, I go the gym and swim regularly, make more time to go out with friends and I don't centre my life around working nights and make sure that I get plenty of sleep during the day. But my girlfriend and I have had to phone several times over the past year and whenever we do we either have to wait two to three weeks to see somebody or we have to call at 8.30am with what feels like a 20% chance of getting an emergency appointment. I called this morning and booked an appointment a fortnight from now because the pain in my abdomen is back big time and it's actually stopping me from walking around when it gets severe. Does anybody else have this trouble with booking an appointment to see a doctor? It seems that the only way to do it is to make an 'emergency appointment' and it seems that the surgeries encourage people to do this. So at 8.30am half the population is trying to book an emergency appointment.