By Dr John the Night-tripper:
In the Herald today:
The message that the NHS is “safe and open for business” is still not getting through to the public, a leading doctor has warned. Professor Jackie Taylor, president of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons Glasgow (RCPSG) said their members remain concerned that doctors are still seeing fewer patients than they would expect.
Once more, we have the anecdotal impressions of a trade union leader, accepted uncritically by a hack, to undermine confidence in NHS Scotland and, by association, the Scottish Government.
No survey, properly conducted, has been done. No useful evidence is offered.
Now, seeming to contradict my own principles, I’m going to kick-off with a personal anecdote. Twenty years ago, complaining of waking and having to pee too many times during the night, I was diagnosed with ‘benign prostatis‘ and a consultant urologist suggested that he simply cut out my prostate gland, which he felt was squeezing my urethra, or at least that’s what I remember. He was keen to go and could fit me in sooner if I went private.
The basis for his diagnosis and the will to cut me up was the number of times I said I was peeing, a pressure test (how hard could I pee) and two fingers inserted where the sun don’t shine, before announcing, ‘yes, it’s big‘ and ‘no, you cant pee hard enough‘. The said gland was never scanned.
I’d read about this op and asked for time to think. In a peer-reviewed journal, the New Zealand Journal of Urology, I think, I found a review of hundreds of research studies and the conclusion that cutting out the gland for this purpose rarely worked and the common side effects didn’t bear thinking about.
Every year, at my review, the consultant recommended surgery. I showed him the journal article and he made to bin it before handing it back to me, with a patronising sneer. I read later, a survey of psychopathic tendencies in different occupations, and found surgeons in third place after chief execs and generals.
While I haven’t cured myself entirely, weight loss and diet changes have significantly reduced the problem, even though I am now 20 years older.
So, is it possible that surgeons are just disappointed and less surgery might not be a bad thing? We’d need more than my anecdote, of course.
What about this?
Despite reduced levels of surgery in Scottish hospitals, fewer people are dying at the moment (red line), than on average they have in the previous five years.
I know there must be more to this. I leave the space below for comment.
Don’t take the…