Wednesday, 23 July 2008

I See That Doctors Are Being Attacked Again

As my regular readers will know I quite often have problems sleeping. I've been fairly lucky over the last couple of weeks because some additional medication has helped me to escape the zombie life that I had fallen into and I had been sleeping very well. Things were a bit difficult Monday night, but I eventually dropped off, but tonight it doesn't seem as though I am going to be so lucky.

I decided to switch on my computer and have a browse at the news, so I logged on to the BBC site and what should I find as the first two items on the home page but another couple of stories having a go at doctors. The first story is about NICE telling doctors to cut down on the number of prescriptions for antibiotics that they issue. It tells us that antibiotics don't help you to get better from coughs and colds, and that it is the over-prescription of antibiotics that is causing the increase in the resistant strains of bugs that are appearing in hospitals. I know that, I didn't need NICE and the BBC to tell me so, and I am absolutely certain that doctors don't need to be told that either. But the big problem is not that doctors are gung ho about prescribing antibiotics, no it is the middle-class mothers who are paranoid every time little Jeremy and little Jemima get the merest hint of a sniffle and rush to the doctor's surgery demanding something to make them better. It is these same mothers, who against all the rational scientific advice have refused to allow their children to have the MMR jab, and destroyed the herd immunity that had been built up in this country to mumps, measles and rubella.

These mothers believe that their children won't get these childhood diseases like children of my generation did, so based on unsubstantiated claims by a single doctor (who is even now appearing before a GMC Fitness to Practice Panel for serious professional misconduct over these claims) they have shunned the MMR jab for their children and put other children at risk by their stupid behaviour. There are children who cannot receive the MMR vaccine for good medical reasons, and while we had herd immunity it was unlikely that they would catch any of these diseases. We are constantly hearing of the increased incidence of mumps and more particularly measles, which can have very serious side effects including resulting in death. Children whose immune systems are compromised because they suffer from cancer perhaps, are being put at more risk of complications because of this selfishness on the part of others.

Rubella is generally not a problem for a child who gets it, but there are serious risks if such a child passes it on to a pregnant woman. Whilst most of the women of child-bearing age will probably have had the rubella jab when they were at school, not all of them will, and it is again those selfish mothers who worry about a risk that does not exist who are putting unborn babies at risk of being deaf, blind or stillborn.

I can already imagine the increase in the number of doctors who will receive bad write-ups on the ridiculous iWantGreatCare website as a result of their refusal to issue prescriptions for drugs that will make no difference at all to the severity or recovery from something that when I was a child you just suffered in silence.

The second item on the BBC website reports that doctors are to face annual assessment and face losing their licence to practice if they don't come up to standard. Two things have occurred to me about this story. I have been reading a lot of the medical blogs that are being written by a variety of doctors in this country, and I know that some of them read what I have to say from time to time, and I thought that doctors underwent some form of assessment anyway. I know that several of these medical bloggers have referred to such a thing in the last few weeks, and have spoken of it as being something that had been occurring for some time rather than something that has just been announced. The second thing about this story is that on the page on which it appears there is a link to a story from February 1999, which gives details of doctors voting that any of their colleagues who failed what was at that time described as an 'MOT' should face disciplinary action and could even be struck off. It strikes me that Sir Liam Donaldson is to make an announcement about something that doctors voted for more than nine years ago.

It is interesting that these two stories hit the website about the 'witching hour' when most would be tucked up in their beds. If this is not another sign of this government attacking the doctors in this country, I don't know what it is. The NHS is not perfect, but it is my NHS and I know what I want from it, and I don't want government telling me what I can or cannot have. Doctors in this country are among the best in the world; otherwise why would so many come from overseas to train here and to work in the NHS. Our GP system is the envy of many countries, not least because they enable us to receive genuine continuity of care. Yes, there are some poor doctors, and some who do not perhaps have the best interpersonal skills, but there are methods of dealing with these problems and hostile headlines at breakfast time is not how it should be done.

To the ladies and gentlemen of the medical profession in this country, the nurses and ambulance crews, to all the people who work in the NHS, I would like to say that by and large I think you are all doing a pretty difficult job well, in what are very often extremely difficult circumstances, and you are not being helped by a government which seems to have suborned a number of medical men to do their dirty work for them.

1 comment:

Jesmi said...

The supply side is under attack, too. Doctors who practice natural medicine are subjected to medical fascism. The Medical Fascists attack the liciense, reputation, resources and skill of the practitioners we trust. And, with the determined help of the US regulatory bodies like the FDA and Codex, they are carefully eliminating the substances and practices you and I seek out for natural treatments.