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Sunday, June 22, 2008

Have mercy on the NHS Doctors

singing detective nhs
Darzi, the minister in charge of a review of the NHS has accused some doctors of being “laggards” for obstructing the introduction of new treatments. But that is not all he even proposed some "innovative measures".

Doctors and nurses should treat there patients as costumers.

He says that if patients don’t like the quality of care they are receiving they should go elsewhere.

His report will include proposals to routinely invite patients to grade the quality of nursing care they receive during their hospital stay, including how comfortable they were made to feel on the ward and if they were treated in a kind and compassionate manner.

Darzi is to set up a new website featuring all the latest innovations in medicine to encourage hospitals to adopt new treatments more quickly.

Donaldson, who as chairman of the World Health Organisation world alliance for patient safety will this week launch an airline-style danger checklist for surgeons

Personally I like the medblog by the NHS Blog Doctor. He writes witty readable posts about "the pleasures and pitfalls of family medicine in the modern British National Health Service." As I think of the NHS in the UK I usually get flash backs from the singing detective. From colleagues who went to the UK for their residency I always got the impression that health care in the UK is in a deplorable state. After Labor being in power for such a long time I had hoped it would improve. Reading Times Online about: Laggard doctors ‘put block’ on new treatments made me understand the problems our colleagues across the Canal are facing.

It is the plague of our times based on a basic mistrust of all professionals by politicians and bureaucrats looking for votes, money and trying to hold on to their jobs no matter what, even by trampling on their "customers" (=patients) backs.

This basic mistrust leads to endless measures of bureaucratic forms and procedures waisting a lot of time not only from doctors but also from the "customers".
By the way it is a flagrant mistake to think of patients as customers. A customer is not suffering from an illness, his or her cure or treatment doesn't depend on good health care, he or she is not in a dependent relationship. A patient hasn't got the knowledge or information beforehand to make the right choices. He or she needs to be informed, taken care of etc.

The only consolation I have for the NHS Blog Doctor: You are not alone


Aqua said...

Great post . I agree fully with what you say about patients not being "customers". Here in Canada a mental health patient is called (even worse than "customer"): a "consumer".

I absolutely hate that word and cringe everytime I hear it used. I feel like I am using up all the resources.

Consumerism is the "F" word of the 21st century, why the hell would they choose that word to describe those of us who are no less patients than someone with heart disease, or diabetes, or any other chronic health condition. Annoying.

Dr. Shock said...

@ aqua
If they get the chance they will call even the diabetes patients consumers or anyone else dependent on insurance companies for that matter.
Here even in The Netherlands insurance companies keep on changing their policies to avoid those who need there help the most, all because of money and the interest of their stakeholders.
Regards Dr Shock