There is a need for more empathy and better communication, agrees patient advocate Stephen McMahon, who says he can identify with some of what Hafford says. As CEO at the Irish Patients Association who has spent 15 years listening to the complaints of patients, he reports that people often feel they’re not being properly heard.
“You hear from patients that they feel they’re going back to the GP with recurring problems. They say the doctor’s not listening to them.”
On many occasions, McMahon says, he’s advised patients to clearly request that their doctors look at them as if they were seeing them for the first time. This is to encourage doctors to actually listen to what the patient has to say.