Tag Archives: Doctors

Universal Healthcare – an Economic Disaster


Given the recent announcement of a new, long term plan for the NHS it seems like an opportune moment to revisit the topic of universal healthcare. The essay below is a new version of a previously published piece, with some sections revised and elaborated, while figures and references have been updated.

Universal Healthcare – an Economic Disaster

By Duncan Whitmore

“Universal healthcare” (that is, an alleged “right” to “healthcare” provided in some form by the state) is a mainstay of social democratic thought – so much so, in fact, that the UK’s NHS is taken as a given, with any kind of proposed healthcare reform couched in terms of improving “our” state-funded health service rather than ever considering whether it should exist in the first place.

However the consequences of universal healthcare are grave indeed, including spiralling costs and ever increasing numbers of sick – pretty much the effects of the welfare state in general. This is without even considering the ethics of forcibly confiscating the money of one person to benefit another, although this essay will focus on the economic aspects of what is, in effect, the socialisation of medicine. Read more

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I didn’t know that doctors were experts on “climate change”


David Davis

The Devil does the usual good job of demolition of these mountebanks. One thought that occurred to me was what doctors would do with themselves, if what they command did come to pass, and we all had “less”…stuff… like this:-

“…A low carbon-diet (especially eating less meat) and more exercise will mean less cancer, obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.”

If there are fewer ill people, then surely won’t we need fewer doctors? What are they all going to do? Enlist in the RAMC and go to Afghanistan where we could do with a couple right now today? Don’t think so somehow.

Libertarian Alliance Health Scare of the Day, no-1: “Doctors” say lots of coca-cola “can” cause paralysis…


David Davis

And……eating 5 pounds of onions a day for a month “may” make you feel ill.

Someone please tell the buggers to f*** off and drink tasteless, low-Potassium drinks. Then, happily, there will be less of those left for the rest of us.

In the late 1960s, “scientists” fed rats 350+ beverages-equivalent-amounts of cyclamates per day, to try to prove that artificial sweeteners were bad for people. They succeeded in making the rats sick….but then rats don’t really weigh that much.

The libertarian issue at stake is the presence of an Enemy Class, which latches onto initially-harmless and boring mountebankianism of this kind, turning it into part of the Green ValitudinariaNazi Human-Restricticon.

Charles is a crank, and astonishingly unfit to be Head of State, but it’s no reason to scrag his outfit over his dodgy herbal remedies, if people want to waste their own money.


Caveat Emptor…

David Davis

This caught my eye just now, and I for one am always pleased to see overpriced and no-better-than-the-competition stuff get egged and floured.

However, there are some principles going on here. In may cases we don’t _really_ know if stuff like Hypericum extract, or “dandelion tincture” have any effect on snything or not. It’s most probable in the face of decades of evidence that they don’t, with the possible exception of things like willow bark extract (for pre-aspirin-like compounds.)

But if people wish to spend their money this way, the ought to be allowed to, and the seller perhaps ought to be allowed to tell them what he thinks the gear does. If it does not, they will stop buying it, and if enough do, he will go bust or delete the brand. Problem solved.

And this sentence was wonderful:-

Similarly Duchy Herbals Echina-Relief Tincture is a “traditional herbal medicinal product used to relive  (sic) the symptoms of the common cold and influenza type infections.”

The ZanuLieBorg British State hates poor people….


….and it is probably privately still “utterly relaxed about people getting filthy rich”….(was it Mandelson or Blair said that? Does it even matter?)

…and “And There Was Me Thinking” has noticed what I have noticed too. She, however, views the interfering State medical-Gramsco-MarxiaNazis in a slightly less positive light than I do.

David Davis

…but we have, just in, “Price of Alcohol could double”.

It’s bad enough for wretched stalinised poor people, who are those who mostly smoke, being charged 25p (about 0.22 Euro or 16 cents US) for a fag, and who have little else in the way of worthhwile pleasures in life except horrible nasty lefty State Tele Vision (for which they also have to oay the BBC regardless.)

Make their alcohol – probably the only other thing that’s nice in their sad lives that they have left –  double the price, and it will do nothing but drive more petty crime in the direction of nicking the stuff.

Intelligent people, such as big crime bosses, will also get into the act of fermenting and distilling hooch on a large and untaxed scale. Does the Government really want that? Does the NHS really want the fallout from that – both in crimestats and secondary health effects?

UPDATE1:- The Landed Underclass explains trenchantly why the ZanuLieBorg GramscoNaziNannies don’t understand economics. It’s why their only pretence at a “Reich” failed, after all: RIP 1917-1991.

UPDATE2:- The Remittance Man demolishes the AlcoGramscoNazis mathematically. Do go read the whole thing.

UPDATE3:- Legiron does a comprehensive fisking job on Lamebrain Donaldson too.

The NHS: new Libertarian Alliance series: “A Doctor writes”


David Rønnqvist

No more “bedside manner”?

 

Interpersonal altercations were the sort of thing that it was once judged could usually be left to be negotiated by the people concerned. Increasingly, however, minor disputes are coming to be seen as requiring layers and layers of bureaucratic management, changing the nature of the public services we receive and altering the once-pleasant feel of England as a country to live in. We have all heard of the use of home-school contracts in the state education system and of councils that refuse to take away rubbish where the bins cannot be pulled with two fingers. This sort of thing is becoming the norm across society, and I want to focus on how it is altering the National Health Service (NHS).

 

Doctors used to be esteemed for their bedside manner, but now often behave like faceless bureaucrats who could be working at public expense in any branch of government. I recently joined a new surgery and was very surprised to receive a Patient’s Agreement to sign, promising not be abusive to surgery staff. Apparently these forms are standard now. The covering letter stated that if I did not sign the form and return it within three weeks, I would be expelled from the practice. I wondered how this complied with the requirement under the farcical Patients’ Charter to be respectful to all patients and with the right of patients under the Charter to have a general practitioner. Such mission statements and charters tend to proliferate in the public sector precisely when conflict with members of the public is rising, and can probably be taken as backhanded admissions that such public bodies no longer treat members of the public with respect.

 

In itself the silly Patient’s Agreement is just a small thing, but family members working in the NHS confirm that the trend within the NHS is towards greater officiousness towards patients. A district nurse has told me that there are altercations every single week in her practice between district nurses and old-age pensioners in their own homes over the patients’ right to smoke. Apparently the NHS believes that all their staff have the right to work in a smoke-free environment. But, rather than leaving such a minor matter to individual negotiation, smoking in front of a district nurse is now sufficient justification for explusion from a practice. The same nurse told me that when she visits patients in pairs, the other nurse will frequently issue an peremptory order along the lines of “put that cigarette out immediately or you will be expelled from the practice”. Such issues “empower” the NHS staff to behave in a bureaucratic and officious manner. No longer are they required to show respect to their patients in their own homes by asking politely for the cigarette to be extinguished.

 

Another aspect of this agenda relates to “inappropriate” language or behaviour by patients. The same nurse told me about an occasion where a 90-year-old man being catheterised in his own home made an “inappropriate” joke. When other nurses at the practice found out, one of them put in an official complaint against the patient “on behalf” of the other nurse, leading the surgery to consider whether the 90-year-old should be listed as a potential abuser and placed on a list of patients who cannot be visited alone.

 

Despite the right to care under the Patients’ Charter, patients with “inappropriate” views may be denied care. There are a number of examples in the media where patients with “racist” views have been left without care in hospital corridors. This reminds me of how my dying grandfather, who went through World War II, became disoriented in his final days, and thought the Chinese nurse attending him was one of the “Japanese”. He thought the Imperial Japanese Army was attacking down the corridor. Nowadays, such comments by a less than lucid dying man could in some hospitals be seen as justification enough for denial of care.

 

Professional behaviour in the NHS requires that all patients are treated, regardless of any “offensive” language or behaviour on their part. Medical care is not something that should be withheld as a punishment for political views. Old soldiers who do not wish to be treated by certain medical staff may be violating the most sacred principles of the multicultural elite, but the issue should be treated pragmatically. Similarly, offensive comments by Islamic extremists, or anyone else, should not be used as an excuse to deny treatment, however satisfying the “fix” of moral superiority such a response would give the NHS bureaucrat involved.

 

I note that all surgeries are engaged in constant propaganda over violence against their staff-but I believe such violence is very rare in fact. The ambulance service has a list of homes where violence is feared-apparently 729 in Cornwall, Devon, Somerset and Dorset-and are wondering whether to blacklist the homes or mandate the wearing of paramilitary jackets when summoned to those addresses. However, press reports make clear that the inflated number includes houses where staff have experienced “verbal abuse”. Only a minority of these people will have actually assaulted NHS staff. Some of the rest may have simply expressed anger at the treatment of their sick relatives or slow ambulance response times. A recent survey of around 1800 NHS staff by the NHS Security Management Service shows that 41% of NHS staff have experienced verbal abuse, but only 2% were physically abused.

 

I certainly do not believe that patients should be violent to staff, but knowledge of British society would confirm that violence to NHS staff is very rare. It may be that incredibly minor events are being classed as verbal or physical abuse today. Of those experiencing verbal abuse (in other words, an altercation of words they should be able to deal with themselves), only 54% reported it. An even greater percentage, 66%, of those physically abused did not report the attacks, confirming the view that in nearly all cases what is classed as “physical abuse” is of an incredibly minor nature.

 

I would expect that abusive or rude behaviour among patients is on the increase, but this is likely to be a reaction to the increasingly bureaucratic nature of the NHS. Contrary to the posters adorning surgery walls, serious violence to NHS staff is virtually unknown. It may be that smug bureaucratic behaviour on the part of the NHS is a reaction to perceptions of rude behaviour among patients. Patients dealt with poorly could become angry and emotional. NHS workers on the receiving end of abusiveness may call for increasingly peremptory bureaucratic controls on patients in a kind of vicious spiral.

 

It is difficult to know how to respond to the officiousness of NHS staff. Complaints or even polite comments pointing out the insulting assumptions in NHS literature would get nowhere. In the end, as the Libertarian Alliance has pointed out, the increase in bureaucratic jobs in the NHS tends to produce more and more bureaucratic initiatives. Cutting the state, or even giving the individual the ability, whether by vouchers or otherwise, to purchase healthcare would restore a sense of dignity to patients-after all, these people’s salaries are paid for out of the taxes that we pay!

 


See link at http://www.nhsbsa.nhs.uk/SecurityManagement/Documents/violence_towards_NHS_staff_from_the_public.pdf.