02 February 2009

Middle class eyes

The trouble with the people in charge telling us what to do is that they have never met a real cross section of our patients. If you are a middle class person in a good job the idea of being given money and shopping around for the doctor of your choice may seem attractive. But not everybody feels this way. If you are elderly with a failing body and, perhaps, mind you may just want to be looked after and have somebody else do the worrying.

What induced Dr Grumble to post this? It was a comment on Health Care Republic news which struck a chord. The article was about over half a million pounds being spent on some GP vascular screening programme. The patient would get referred to a nurse-led programme and the patients would be given a 16 week programme of exercise and health advice. The comment was as follows:

Many people don't particularly care about living a long time.

It's true. Some people don't. There is no earthly point in giving advice to people about how to live longer if they don't particularly care. We do not all see things the same way as our masters.

Dr Grumble has many patients who would live longer if they were to take his advice. Many of them do not take his advice. That's OK. That is their decision. Occasionally some of them actually tell Dr Grumble that they do not want to live longer. That's OK too. Some young doctors get upset when patients persist in doing things that are not good for them. But it's up to them. It really is. If people want to do something you wouldn't do that's OK. As long as they understand. But we shouldn't waste taxpayers money trying to persuade them to look after their bodies if that is not what they want to do.

1 comment:

Dr Grumble said...

It seems the Department of Health with their well-meaning but intrusive telecare has learnt this Grumble truth the hard way:

The DH said the programme had seen drop-out at every stage, even once patients had consented to take part. Some potential users either claimed they were well enough not to require the service or did not want to be reminded about their condition on a daily basis.

Surprise, surprise.