Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Tarred And Feathered

Every once and a while, I get sucked into debate about the pros and cons of the NHS; I shouldn't really, as I never quite acquit myself in the way I intend, and it upsets me.

I always seem to end up with an 'intent/perception mismatch'

What I find frustrating, tho I suspect we all do it, is the way in which people seem to generalise, and inevitably about their BAD experiences; maybe it's because they really are all bad.

Such debates seem to go along the lines of: ' I had a bad experience on the NHS, thus it is a bad system, and doctors in general are shit / wankers / a waste of time '

One would think that there would be a way to refute this without coming acxross like an arse.

I have not found it.

More than once, it has been suggested to me, directly or indirectly, that my bedside manner is lacking in those qualities desirable in a manner designed to be deployed at the bedside. Curiously, it is usually in a situation far removed from any part of beds, sides or otherwise. Once, it was over a game of pool.

Such complaints from my actual patients have been rare. I think they number four in the last eleven years / 30 - odd thousand patients. And no, I don't think that's because they're all dead.

Yes, the NHS is an imperfect system; but I happen to think it does some things very well - accident management being one of them, which I also think represents good value for money. (Controversially, I also think Drs wages represent good VFM, especially when compared to e.g Barristers who said they couldn't afford to take on legal aid cases for £91/hr)

There are many faults, there are bad doctors, but most of us work bloody hard, and try to do the best we can. (Small violins playing just for Shroom can be put away now)

For those who will always find fault ('...what about MRSA, then? Penicillin-monkeys, not part of the solution = part of the problem...'), I'm sure you're right. We could always do better; I think the same could be said about anybody, in any job.

That's not the same as always doing badly, I hope.

For everyone who's waited too long on a waiting list, there's someone who's life was saved with PCI - or some other shit.

Is it enough to balance one man's poor service with another's good?

I guess not, but ndon't assume it's cos we don't care or aren't trying.

//Autologous autosplenectomy ends

3 comments:

NEO-CONDUIT said...

I don't tar all people or professions with the same brush.
I take individuals for what they are or are not good at.
Maybe people have had enough with hierarchies.
Once upon a time us meek folk bowed down to the gods of medicine and took everything that was said as kosher. Now we the feeble minded folk are educated and sick of being bullied. We stand up for ourselves and say enough.
Yup their are some moronic idiots in this world, who just milk the system, and are needy, and have no lives.
In a shop or whatever the customer is always right, there may be an apology etc.
When it comes to medicine, there generally is no apology nor acknowledgement that your life may now be terminally ruined.
Likewise Medical folk also like to tar the general public with labels such as "fruitloops" "seekers" "U,L,K" "Attention seekers" I believe it does swing both ways:)

732 said...

If you're referring to who I think you are, don't beat yourself up too much. Angry ranting is one your correspondent's fortés...

Alice said...

The NHS has saved my mum's life outright three times.

No question of whether we could afford it (we could not), no delay while insurance was worked out - they just took her in, pumped thousands and thousands of pounds worth of drugs into her, gave her physio, radiotherapy, thyroid drugs free for the rest of her life, scary autoimmune stuff, whatever she needed to keep her alive and kicking.

Not everything was perfect, but my mum is very much not dead and would have been very dead indeed by now without the NHS.

It's the single thing about my country that I'm most proud of. Well done.