Back in the olden days, doctors did some questionable things when it came to treating the infirm. A walk through a museum of medicine would pass through a whole host of gruesome remedies and some very odd ideas. Women routinely had their wombs surgically removed (hysterectomy) or even masturbated (!) to cure their ‘hysteria’ in Victorian times, blood-letting as a treatment for a whole host of illnesses. Pills for all sorts of things, including Dr Newman’s anti-venereal pills to treat ‘all degrees of the venereal disease… tumified testicles, pockey warts and shankers’. The use of lead and mercury in pills and ointments was widespread and would certainly most not qualify for any NICE recommendations these days (debatable, but for another day).
These days, doctors ought to follow their reasoned, guided clinical judgment. As medical students, we are taught how to critique research, not to believe everything we read, and weight up the benefits and risks of treatment. Evidence-based medicine on the whole, makes sense and is good for keeping the costs controlled and making sure people get better. Medical and surgical practice that is based on research, and scientifically proven to work (within reasonable confidence intervals).
One would only hope that government policy would only follow such logical principles. However, as Andrew Lansley and the rest of the government have demonstrated in recent days, that they clearly are still stuck in the mindset of prescribing radical non-treatments for made up non-problems that wouldn’t seem out of place described in Victorian newspapers as ‘Dr Lansley’s magic policy to fix all manner of health service ailments, by letting our doctors do the commissioning and letting private business take the profits from taxpayers money not spent on patients’.
Lansley’s toxic Health and Social Care Bill is a treatment for a problem that doesn’t exist. It may sound good to some, but beware the toxic side effects. And what evidence is it based on? The evidence from private healthcare systems such as that in the USA show that health outcomes are far worse, and the cost for each patient is far higher. The social effect of this is millions uninsured and $billions lining the pockets of the few in charge of lucrative private providers.
Andrew Lansley should be struck off. He’s pathetic, and his ridiculous waste of time/energy/money/intellectual brain capacity/morale that is his Health and Social Care Bill should be withdrawn, just like so many dodgy PIP breast implants that are causing problems for women all over the world.
We citizens of a reasonable, logical nature should not only intellectualise and moan about all this, but speak up and whistle-blow against this most supreme of quacks amongst quacks and let us all get back to the job of looking after patients.
I’m sick and tired of feeling the need to write these blogs and signing petitions.