The Aged P

…just toasting and ruminating….

26 July
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Pay to see your GP? Fine, but doctors must up their game as well….

At last – a measure of reality coming into the NHS debate from doctors who, for decades, have colluded with other health professionals to perpetuate the myth that “free at the point of entry” is a divine right set in Bevanite stone.

More than half of GPs want to charge a fee of up to £25 per appointment in order to discourage patients from making needless visits, according to a new survey.

Health policy experts said the flat rate, which could include exemptions for groups like the elderly and unemployed, would bring British health care in line with successful systems in France, Germany and Scandinavia.

Payment for GP consultation is regarded as quite normal in almost every other health system based on the social insurance model (as is payment for board & lodging for hospital in-patients). It helps to cover costs and filters out those who would abuse the system.

With an increasingly elderly population we could never hope to operate a service which is both caring and efficient.

However, in return for payment, we should demand a more balanced consumer/provider relationship:

  • Customer friendly hours for appointments – evenings, Saturdays etc
  • Initial appointments within hours rather than two weeks
  • Competition between practices to win customers by offering wider services
  • Reception geared to interests of consumers rather than providers

After all this is already happening…….

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13 June
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Shock! Horror! These Doctors See Their Patients As Customers Not Supplicants!!! Whatever Next?

Now here’s an idea – why hasn’t anyone else thought of this?

“Our patients are our customers”

 

A private doctor’s surgery run by Poles is attracting thousands of patients who have given up on the NHS.
Open seven days a week, usually until 11pm, the clinic gives half-hour appointments – three times longer than usual.
And, despite charging £70 a visit, it already has almost 6,000 Britons on its books. Customers are welcomed into the spotless and modern centre by friendly receptionists whose motto is to ‘put patients first’.

 

You mean that these “customers” don’t have to approach the receptionist as a supplicant, grovelling for a favour by pleading for an appointment that day? They can actually spend half an hour with the doctor rather than be part of conveyor belt that jerks back into action after ten minutes? If they can’t be bothered to turn up for their appointment because it clashes with daytime TV they’ll still have to pay £70? Is it possible that being ill at weekends is no longer a cardinal sin interfering with a GP’s round of golf?

OMG….the BBC Question time audience would have a collective nervous breakdown and the health professionals cartels (aka “unions”) would be flooding our screens with messages of doom, shock and horror at this Oliver Twist moment…

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06 February
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Francis Report – Proof That The NHS Is The Envy Of Nobody….

Blah blah blah….lessons learned…..monitoring……values driven….blah blah…..NHS…..envy of the world……

Stephen Pollard, editor of The Jewish Chronicle summed it up in a piece at the Telegraph

Mid Staffs inquiry: spare me the NHS drivel, please…… I really can’t take another second of the specious, misleading and hypocritical response to the Francis Inquiry into what happened at Mid Staffs.

Naturally the full force of venom is being directed at “the managers” with several people demanding that hospitals should be run by doctors and nurses. However, as one brave soul posted at Guido Fawkes

Let’s not forget that it is actually nurses who fail to provide basic care. Nurses are usually regarded as immune to criticism, whereas nobody likes beastly bureaucrats; nor do hospitals actually seem to be short of nurses, if the gaggles of chattering people milling around most NHS wards are anything to go by. We might need more doctors and orderlies and fewer ‘angels’.

Heresy – the nursing unions and the BBC won’t like that. But it was nurses and doctors who were actually on the wards ignoring patients, not “managers”

However we live in times rather similar to the early years of Imperial Rome where very few actually believed in the Roman gods – but most citizens made certain they were seen in the temples. In the UK in the 21st century it has been clear for years that the NHS is a blundering, inefficient and incredibly expensive monstrosity run almost exclusively for the benefit and convenience of doctors and nurses – a producer’s cartel very similar to those that, up until now, have controlled schools, police and the law. Yet in public we are required to make obeisance to this false god or face being burned at the stake..

prefacing almost every response to Mr Francis’ report has been the incantation that the NHS is our proudest institution and represents British values at their best.
If this is Britain at its best then God help us, because the NHS is an anachronism, a health system built on deference to authority, Whitehall knows best, government spends best and if you’re a patient then learn your place in the food chain, keep quiet and take what’s offered.

As one angry reader of Pollard pointed out

You can’t criticise the nurses, no matter how poor or uncaring they are, they are angels. You can’t criticise the doctors and consultants because they are better than us. You can’t criticise Whitehall because they aren’t listening. You can’t criticise the managers because they are counting the numbers given to them by Whitehall and you can’t criticise the NHS because its a National Treasure. The only people left to criticise are the patients and their families.

Sorry, Mr Francis – you’re just painting plague pustules with calomine lotion. The notion of a tax funded, “free” at point of entry health service is in itself the root cause of Mid Staffs and no amount of tinkering at the edges will resolves these endemic problems.

Time to put the customer in the driving seat?

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