Wednesday, October 01, 2008

A Sort Of Open Reply

If only because some good points were made, and, if I have mis-represented myself, then explanation should be public.

I want to apologise for over-egging the pudding, suggesting that No-One, from the aforementioned NotDrRant laid all the blame at the foot of the docs. And I concur, there are indeed some truly awful docs in the system, and rooting them out has been, and remains, difficult.

I don't object, by and large, to swearing. I swear vigorously myself at any given opportunity, and the example I gave may have given the impression that it was an indirect dig, or slight, aimed at No-One. Not so. My complaint was more in general, and I freely admit that No-One has indeed not named any specifics. But sites do exist where people can, and do; and the lack of a right-of-reply remains. My own experience of this is acute. Where patients want something from the health service, often for a relative, that it cannot provide, their anger often vents at the nearest professional, rather than the system. Sometimes this is justified, sometimes not. Some of my patients seem to think it acceptable to call me a "cunt" to my face, to suggest that I obtained my degree "from the back of a cornflakes box", and then complain about how poorly they were treated....

Anyway, if you wanna swear, swear on. I meant no criticism.

On a more general note... will giving all the power to the patient solve the problem? I doubt it. Just as Doctors weren't meant to be administrators, neither were the bulk of patients. Yes, they can vote with their feet; but turning it truly 'private' might have a few unexpected side effects. Are we, the medics, afraid of having our snouts displaced from the NHS trough? Maybe. Bevan, after all, only swung the agreement of the Consultants in 1948 with a promise to choke their throats with gold.

For me? Makes no odds. I work in Emergency. Voting with your feet is rarely an option, and I expect I'd make more money if you paid for service. I'm all for patient power, but it has to be tempered with the knowledge that, just occasionally, I might know what I'm doing, might know better than you what the best treatment is. Currently, I have no financial stake in how you're treated.

Will I give you better care if I do?

(The answer's "no", by the way...)

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