Note to H - if you want to move this into "The Great NHS debate" thread thats fine but I thought this was slightly different in focus to that but its your forum so happy with whatever you decide.
Medical science and the medical profession have come a long way in a short time. Even using the inexact metric of looking at current drama programmes on TV compared to historic programmes can highlight the obvious ways in which dealing with the sick, injured and elderly has changed over the years and all within my own lifetime as well.
The fundamental change that I can see is the amount of work done by the paramedics when they are called to a sick or injured person. The paramedics often save a life before they drive back to the hospital. Going back in time, ambulance drivers would just bundle a body onto a stretcher and drive as quickly as possible back to hospital for a doctor to do the lifesaving bit.
Once in hospital the treatment and procedures available have significantly increased in number and complexity and reliance upon technology. This can bring about better outcomes for the patient as the procedures can be less intrusive (keyhole surgery), more focussed (modern cancer treatments) or even dealt with by drugs rather than surgery (some heart conditions).
It all seems to be a good news story, everything is great, everything is better than it was. But is that actually true?
For me, I don’t think everything is better than it was, I make some observations about things that I don’t think are right in the NHS or may be draining trust in the medical profession. Observations in no particular order:
- Difficult/impossible to get a GP appointment or excessive time lag between calling and getting an appointment
- Long waiting lists for hospital appointments
- High number of cancelled operations
- Doctors not employed on full time basis – have private practices as a side hustle
- Understaffing causing excessive waiting times
- Inefficient practises, those people who are employed seem to be busy working bureaucratic systems and associated administrative duties rather than dealing with patients
- Passing the buck – referrals to other departments require a letter and a separate appointment for another day – multiple visits for one thing that could have been done in a single visit
- Talking down to people - we saw a lot of this during Covid but it goes beyond that, this is to do with trying to influence how people lead their lives be that drinking, smoking, diet, exercise, yes they have always done it but its different now as they are getting too preachy. Doctors want to interfere and influence policy by trying to change people and their habits
- The overt politicisation of the NHS, a leftward leaning organisation (to put it mildly) and all that goes along with that singularity of opinion that seems to be held by all in the NHS, including the Diversity and Inclusivity Policies – all straight from the book of Marxism
There are probably many other things that I could add here but that will do for a starter.
Do you still have faith in the NHS and medical profession?