Saturday, December 19, 2009
Private Practice, cancer of NHS PLC Ltd UK - where Money talks
A thirty eight year old man falls down a council pothole. Three months later, he still cannot put his foot to the ground, he cannot straighten his leg, he is kept awake by pain, he has not seen an orthopaedic surgeon and has not got the results of his MRI.
He will see an NHS orthopaedic physiotherapist in January, for the third time. He or she may, or may not, have the results of his MRI scan. He or she may, or may not, refer him to an orthopaedic surgeon.
This man has a classic meniscal tear and has a loose piece of cartilage jammed in his knee joint. He is on crutches and painkillers and the longer this goes on, the worse his chances of recovery.
This is the biggest heap of DooDoo I have seen yet this month. The patient went to his GP. After a month, his GP using Choose and Book, referred him to the Hospital. He saw an Orthopaedic Physiotherapist (not a doctor) who after another month, ordered an MRI scan. Three months after his injury, he may or may not, get the results of his scan.
THREE MONTHS have gone by and our man is about to lose his job, he may never walk again, he is unlikely ever to play sports again. This is the new NHS and this man may spend the rest of his life on benefits because the NHS has failed him and his family.
Here, the cause is PRIVATE PRACTICE. The orthopaedic surgeon wants lots of private practice. Therefore he makes it difficult to get an NHS appointment. Once upon a time, the orthopaedic surgeon had a long NHS waiting list. Nowadays he has an Orthopaedic Physiotherapist (who is not an orthopaedic surgeon nor any kind of doctor) to police his waiting list and fend off targets and managers, while he continues to keep his long waiting list intact.
If our man wants treatment he must pay.
He must pay for an urgent, (PRIVATE) appointment with an Orthopaedic Surgeon because there are no longer any urgent NHS Orthopaedic appointments, at least not in this area of the country.
Doctors don't complain, because they are fat cats on gross salaries who are scared to say Boo to a mouse in case they are hauled before the General Medical Council, and lose their livelihoods. Belt and Braces, Carrots and Sticks - Rewards for the good boys, and death to the Dissidents and anyone who cares about their patients more than the GMC's guidelines called, laughably, "Good Medical Practice"
Private Practice is a primary cancer in the NHS. Consultant Doctors are encouraged to earn money privately while backed by a State salary, State pension and State security. With this much on offer, doctors are easily corrupted. Teach a child to draw a picture for sweets and they no longer draw for pleasure. Encourage a money based culture in the NHS and the fun goes out of the job. No one works for the love of work any more. Doctors can't wait to retire
This is particularly true in Orthopaedics, Gynaecology and Surgery where long waiting lists, restricted access to surgeons encourage patients to go privately. In short, anywhere the doctors can create a log jam - whether it is surgical procedures only they can do or expertise only they have. Previous governments tried to suppress this greed by directly supporting the NHS, this government has encouraged it while carving up and selling off whatever else they can find of value in the NHS.
We are about to see NHS land and buildings sold off to pay off this country's massive debt. This Labour government has left no political choice. The hospital land will be sold at favourable prices to the friends of Labour and friends of business.
The only solution is staying healthly. Keep fit, keep agile, don't let a soft belly creep up on you. Make sure you look after yourself so you do not need the NHS or other health care. Save for a rainy day so you can go privately (prices are better in Poland)
Copyright (c) Dr. Liz Miller
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Copyright (c) Dr. Liz Miller