Charles McKay was right

Sure, he concentrated upon financial markets but delusions and madness of crowds aren’t limited to those:

Measles cases rose by 300 per cent in Europe last year as parents across the Continent shunned vaccines.

More than 20,000 people were infected as the disease rebounded from a record low to cause 35 deaths, according to World Health Organisation figures that reveal the damaging after-effects of the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine scare.

Young people in Britain who are part of the unprotected “Wakefield cohort” — named after the disgraced former doctor Andrew Wakefield, who raised fears that the triple vaccine caused autism — have been urged to get vaccinated before trips to countries such as Italy.


Not much longer and he’ll die

A gangster has gone three weeks without a bowel movement in an alleged attempt to stop police finding drugs he swallowed.

Not from exploding though.

As a recent case explained- assuming he’s still eating that is – it will all end up coming back up the neck. For the poor unfortunate who was supposedly in “care” this meant aspirating it and dying.

Yes, it is actually possible to drown in your own shit.

How about having a better NHS instead?

Victims of NHS blunders should receive smaller compensation payouts or the “staggering” costs of Britain’s negligence bills will bankrupt the health service, the Justice Secretary has been told.

Health service leaders have written to the Government, calling for cuts to payments for patients who suffer devastating injuries as a result of medical errors.

As has been discussed many times over the years, perhaps the first thing is to make the error reporting system more like that in aviation. Where the why and who is thoroughly worked out so as to become a warning to others.

More specifically, perhaps a change or two in midwife training. You know, less of the all natural stuff and woo hoo! to modern technology?

But why would a doctor know how to run the NHS?

Here are six ways to save the NHS, Mr Hunt. Trust me I’m a doctor

They’re big on management training, finance, MBAs, in medical school these days are they?

We know you love a jumble sale, but try not to flog off too much more of the NHS to the nearest snake-tongued bidder with fistfuls of notes. Private entities should not be taking public cash to provide public services. Every penny that becomes profit for shareholders is a penny that should have been spent on the NHS.

Ah, no, obviously not.

Just to make sure for dimmer readers, the correct comparison is between the greater efficiency of a private, profit making, organisation, and the amount that it skims off in that profit. It’s possible that a private company isn’t more efficient than a bureaucracy – this really does actually happen. There are also times – and this too really does happen – when the private company is more efficient. And more efficient by more than that profit margin.

The trick is to know when which case applies, not a flat insistence that profits are money not being spent upon the delivery of goods or services. That last would be just to betray one’s entire and total ignorance of finance, management or even reality.

Well, this is the problem with the NHS, innit?

She didn’t want the room’s pity. She didn’t even want the room’s respect, though it certainly makes a nice change to get it when you’ve spent most of your professional life as a politician. What she wanted was more help for other people with cancer: more shared knowledge, faster diagnosis, wider access to experimental treatments, better survival rates (we currently have the worst in western Europe) and for us all to be part of a “human-sized picture”, where the “community of love” created by patients was mirrored in the NHS.

Cancer treatment depends upon speed. Upon speed of diagnosis, of starting treatment, of changing it when some other approach would do better etc.

What’s the one thing a Stalinist bureaucracy isn’t good at? Speed.


Err, yes, yes

Three times as many people are dying of flu this winter in the UK compared with last year, with the death toll since October now at 155, figures show.

Doesn’t seem to be much more flu around. Vaccinations are up marginally I think.

Seems that the national, state run, monopoly went and bought the wrong strain of the vaccine. Hey, it happens. But….

Yes, this is largely true

Technological advances will trigger a 21st century medical revolution, that could see a series of long-awaited breakthroughs in the fight to develop a cure for some the world’s most devastating diseases including cancer and diabetes, a clutch of Silicon Valley and pharmaceutical bosses has predicted.

“Technology has the ability to cure cancer, unlock the mysteries of obesity, and reduce cardiovascular deaths,” Albert Bourla, Chief Operating Officer of Pfizer said.

Medicine, as in the ability to cure a specific disease or condition, is going to become remarkably cheap. For, essentially, we’re going to mechanise it. As with aspirin replacing the comely maiden bathing the fevered brow we’re going to automate.

Social care however is likely to become very much more expensive at the same time. As the number of people who don’t die of those things we cure rises. Going to be interesting seeing how the budgets work out there.

Watch the rickets rate soar

Sunshine is in short supply across a swathe of north-west Europe, shrouded in heavy cloud from a seemingly never-ending series of low pressure systems since late November and suffering one of its darkest winters since records began.

If you live in Brussels, 10 hours and 31 minutes was your lot for the entire month of December. The all but benighted inhabitants of Lille in France got just two hours, 42 minutes through the first half of January.

There is a good reason why Northern Europeans tend to have paler skin. Possibly even reasons and this is one of them. We need sunlight to produce Vitamin D. Less sunshine means we need to make better use of what we get – paler skins in climes with less sunshine.

We’ve had a recent influx of those with darker skins – plus, among some of those at least, an inclination for one of the sexes not to show bare skin while outside.

No, this is not to then insist that darkies must stay where darkies thrive. Well, OK, anyone can say anything they like but no, not me. However, there are interesting implications of this.

For example, we have been told of a recent rise in the incidence of rickets in the UK. This is then attributed to austerity. That’s certainly possible. Not that we’ve had any austerity but still. The progressive impoverishment to the point of destitution of the populace could indeed produce an increase in the rate of rickets. But then so could an influx of people richer in melanin to our northern climes – especially if people aren’t changing their behaviour about body swathing to take account of this solar deficiency.

My point being well, that rise in rickets incidence. Is it due to poverty or migration? Rather an important question as no, we don’t want the kiddies to suffer rickets so we need to know the answer so that we can prevent that. If it’s poverty then perhaps we really do have to overthrow neoliberal globalisation in order to cure it. If it’s migration then perhaps all we need to do is tell people to take a 10 minute walk outside without a head covering on those rare occasions the Sun does shine?



The NHS:

She had asked the hospital transport to take the both of us to the hospital and when they arrived, they weren’t expecting the two of us. We negotiated with them and I helped her to the ambulance. After waiting around for the usual late running, we were told that we would be collected at half past five. At six, we enquired again only to be told we would have to wait until half past eight… Had we not chased, we would have not been told that. So we got a taxi and paid through the nose to get home.

The misery of the cancer is bad enough, but this indifferent incompetence just adds to the overall agony of the process. We have spent decades working and paying into the system. Now, when we need it, we find ourselves underwhelmed by the service we receive.

The NHS can’t do this

More than six in ten doctors want to introduce charges for some patients, including fees for overseas patients attending Accident and Emergency units, a survey shows.

Ministers recently introduced “upfront” hospital charges for patients receiving planned treatment, if they are not eligible for free care.

They’ve simply not got the systems. Not the ones to check and not the ones to accept payment.

No one has to carry ID in the UK. Your patient records, which might show your health care status, are with the GP. What are people to check? Which is before the fact that no one has a card machine.

Further, who the hell is going to demand payment before sewing up a jugular? Not even California does that…..

A most interesting accusation

Britain’s tooth decay epidemic saw around 170 youngsters have teeth extracted in hospital every day last year, with sugar blamed for creating an “oral health crisis”.

New NHS spending data shows there were 42,911 hospital procedures to remove multiple teeth from patients aged 18 and under in 2016-17 at a cost of more than £36 million.

It marks a jump of almost a fifth (17 per cent) in the number of extractions performed on young people over the past four years, up from 36,833 in 2012-13.

Hospital teeth removals take place when a patient requires general anaesthetic, which cannot be given by a dentist. The NHS has spent £165 million on such treatment since 2012, past data reveals.

Council chiefs said the spike represented a crisis in dental health, brought on by excessive sugar intake among young people.

As far as I’m aware sugar consumption isn’t up over this period of time. Nor any recent period. So, a spike in extractions cannot have been caused by a spike in sugar consumption. Therefore, if such a spike exists it must be caused by something else.

But what?

The generally shitty state of NHS dentistry? All kiddies are eligible for that, aren’t they?

Mental health issues and trans people

No, no, really, I should not mock:


We will have full, historical accountability for the abuses perpetuated against us in the name of ‘healthcare’. We will see reparations for these crimes, and the crimes committed against others in our names.


Aren’t they rather missing that health care, beyond bed rest, is really only 60 odd years old?

We will heal the damage of borders and states, government and authority, capitalism and imperialism.

Shouldn’t there be something about freedom for Tooting about now?

We recognise that the history of trans medicine is a history of colonial and fascist abuse.

to gatekeeping of surgeries and medicines.

Yes, they do mean that doctors only doing medical treatment they think a good idea – the doctors that is – is fascist abuse.

There will be no clinics, and no authorities. We will conduct our own research, and experiment with our own bodies. We will heal and grow together. We will accumulate knowledge and share it freely and accessibly. We demand nothing less than the total abolition of the clinic, of psychiatry, and of the medical-industrial complex. We demand an end to capitalist & colonialist “medicine”.


We demand the right to multiple surgeries, including reversal of previous surgeries if desired, so that we do not have to fear regret.

Good luck there, surgery’s not that good yet.

Gender’s not the only thing they’re confused about, is it?

Nope, the numbers still don’t add up, do they?

It’s no surprise that NHS bosses are proposing new measures to work within their ever-more-squeezed budgets. We’ve already seen restrictions on non-urgent surgeries for smokers and obese patients in some clinical commissioning groups and cutbacks on IVF treatment. Now, buried over the Christmas break, it emerged NHS England is proposing to cut free prescriptions for over-the-counter remedies, including treatments for conjunctivitis, haemorrhoids, minor burns and back pain. The move would reduce costs by £136m.

It’s sensible to look at how efficient the NHS’s spending is – for example, even as the Patients Association expressed concern about the proposal, it pointed out it was counterintuitive for the NHS to be paying pounds for medication if the individual can buy it for pence – but we should be deeply wary about any move that rolls back healthcare in the name of money saving.

By definition of who currently relies on free prescriptions, cutting this service means largely targeting the very people who need financial help to stay well: from pensioners, disabled people and jobseekers to young people in education. If you haven’t got enough money to feed your children or pay the rent, spending £8.60 on a prescription is a luxury you can’t afford.

Well, yes, quite. Given that you won’t in fact pay £8.60 for a prescription you don’t get or use this does mean that, yet again, the numbers of Frances Ryan do not add up.

Oh my, so, no doesn’t mean no in this Brave New World

Families of potential organ donors could be overruled under a new model of “presumed consent,” a public consultation suggests.

The thing is that even this wouldn’t solve the shortage of organs for transplant. Simply put, not enough of us die in a manner, place or time that makes organs suitable for transplant. Even if every organ o everyone dying is government property and confiscated immediately this *still* doesn’t solve the problem.

There are only two solutions.

1) Live and paid transplant. Has to be paid as there aren’t enough unpaid volunteers. Obviously this doesn’t work for hearts but it does for liver, kidney and lungs (partial transplants work and we’ve two kidneys).

2) Xenotransplant.

It has always amused – amused as in “what in buggery are these people doing” rather than “amused ha ha” sense – that so much effort is put into presumed consent when it doesn’t in fact solve the problem at hand.

Yes, but, we want to know the comparative result

Dentures put wearers at risk of malnutrition because they cause wearers to avoid healthy foods which are difficult to chew, a major study has shown.

Researchers at King’s College London found the same was true for people with teeth loss, who also struggle to chew food properly.

In both cases, tooth loss and wearing dentures was associated with joint and muscle frailty which can leave people at risk of bone breakages and falls.

The scientists said that people with dentures, or fewer teeth find it difficult to eat foods such as fibrous fruits and vegetables, nuts and meat, which are essential for good nutrition.

Although dentures improves chewing function, the bite force is much weaker than that of natural teeth, meaning users often avoid certain foods.

But that’s not what we want to know at all. Assuming tooth loss, which gives the better result, dentures or gumming everything?

Guardian journalist gets shock

Having premature twins in Manhattan can cost in the hundreds of thousands – and in my case did – and my UK insurer never passed on a bill.

The only mystifying thing was how it made any money. Well. A few days ago a nervous-sounding agent rang me from Britain and, in what sounded like a script dictated by lawyers, said that he regretted to tell me the company, a huge European conglomerate, was getting out of the US market and my policy would not be renewed in January.

Things which are not profitable to supply stop being supplied. Shocker, eh?

or apply yourself to the free market and buy insurance from, for example, a provider part-owned by Jared Kushner’s brother that dwindling numbers of New York doctors accept and has a $14,000 (£10,000) excess on a family policy that costs more than $800 a month. (This isn’t an anomaly, it’s the industry standard.)

Things cost to supply what they cost to supply. NHS costs £2,000 per capita per annum. £8,000 for a family of four (I assume there’s a Mr. Viner around somewhere). That NY policy doesn’t look out of the correct price range, does it?