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Health Care

The Glorious NHS, Wonder of the World it is

The NHS Trust had asked the court to approve a palliative care plan for Sudiksha, meaning that she would no longer receive dialysis and would die from kidney failure within a few days. The trust believed that her apparent refusal or inability to accept that her disease will result in her early, if not imminent, death amounted to a “delusion” and therefore she is incapable of making decisions for herself.

The proof that you are mad and should therefore die is that you wish to keep living.

Fuck ’em

Can you say professional protectionism?

Doctors have launched a campaign to curb the use of unregulated assistants being deployed as a “short-term fix” to plug gaps in the NHS workforce.

Medics say that the health service is turning more and more to “associate” practitioners because they are much quicker and cheaper to train.

They have warned patients, often unaware when they are seen by such staff, that they are not being treated by a qualified doctor.

Friedman on hte AMA is a good guide to what’s happening here.

This is fun

This isn’t the first time this has happened. In 2021, it emerged that Northern Ireland’s only gender identity clinic hadn’t accepted a single new patient since 2018. The Sandyford in Glasgow stopped taking new patients for its youth services for a while last year too.

Even where new patients are being accepted, the backlog isn’t being cleared quickly enough. According to a freedom of information request earlier this month, trans people in Yorkshire can expect to wait thirty-five years for a first appointment at current clearance rates.

The reason for this awful state of affairs is because there aren’t enough staff or resources to cope with demand for healthcare that remains part of the desperately underfunded and short-staffed mental health division of the desperately underfunded and short-staffed NHS.

So, according to Bigmouth, trans is a mental health issue.

OK, to be treated with lithium and a chat, not surgery then?

Sounds excellent to me

Private equity’s shift into these services is a symptom of one of the most extraordinary economic experiments in modern history. In the low-interest environment of the past decade, as the returns on investments such as government bonds dwindled, investors poured more money into private markets in search of higher returns, leading to an explosion in private equity deals. When high-octane finance starts moving into hospitals and nurseries, it’s a morbid sign that other opportunities for productive investment have been exhausted. Rather than financing new ideas, investors are capitalising on the basic necessities of life.

If private capital is also providing medical care, as well as that tax financed stuff, then there’s more medical care to be had, right? And if getting more medical care is a good thing then that’s good, right?

OK, fair enough

There is up to a one in four chance that a “catastrophic” pandemic will hit the UK in the next five years, a new Cabinet Office document has warned.

In the so-called “reasonable worst-case scenario”, a future pandemic could result in 50 per cent of the population falling ill and some 840,000 people in Britain dying.

The threat was one of scores flagged up in the National Risk Register, where the Government looks ahead at potential dangers and considers mitigation measures.

So, here’s what we do.

Not what we did last time.

Umm, no, I think I disagree here

A lesbian couple who launched a legal battle over inequalities in IVF treatment between heterosexual and same-sex couples have dropped their fight after their local care board pledged to make treatment costs equal.

Social media influencers Megan and Whitney Bacon-Evans launched a landmark “gay tax” discrimination case after NHS Frimley Integrated Care Board (ICB) said same-sex couples, single women and couples unable to have vaginal intercourse would have to pay for 12 rounds of IVF before qualifying for NHS assistance.

Heterosexual couples only needed to signal that they had been trying to conceive for two years before receiving help.

Sure, equal rights and all that. But refusing to actually put sperm into your own body via the correct orifice is always going to be a bit of a self-inflicted barrier to conception.

Quite why the rest of us have to pay for your own self-inflicted problem is a bit of a mystery. Borrow some from a buddy for a bit and if that doesn’t work then sure, equal rights. But at least make an effort first.

Perhaps we should start by getting the numbers right

‘I’m a doctor – here’s how I would solve Britain’s obesity crisis’
From a GP to the head of the behavioural ‘nudge’ unit, three professionals give their opinions on how to tackle our weight problem

OK, interesting.

At the same time, obesity now affects two thirds of UK adults, at a cost of £6 billion to the NHS each year.

Fat people dying young saves the NHS money. So our noble health warriors are wrong out of the starting gate.

Anyway, we all know whay the solution to obesity is. Ban central heating.

Ah, now this is difficult, see?

Democrats condemn Robert F Kennedy Jr for saying Covid attacks races differently

That Kennedy is claiming it was engineered to leave Jews alone, sure, he’s a nutter.

But that it does attack races differently is true. Vitamin D dark skinned people in NMorthern climes were much harder hit than others. Etc, etc.

Covid and race don’t intersect is wrong. Which is what makes the RFK claims so dangerous….

Just a thought

Am back for a couple of days. And you never really find out how a place it ticking without reading the ads at the back of the freebie paper. That’s where the advertisers are clicking into the current thing.

And interested to see a clinic advertising full MRIs for £200. £200 isn’t nothing, it’s half a week’s minimum wage. But for someone like me – like most of us here in fact – it’s not a sum to cause a fright. Actually, while I’d note handing it over I’d not, partifcularly, note whether I had done so or not a couple of weeks later. It’s one of those intermediate sums, not spare change but not wholly important.

And, well, I’d pay that. Not for an MRI I could get for free if I waited, that’s not what I mean. Rather, I’d pay that just to get one at my time. “No, don’t do mornings, sorry, got a project on, but 1 pm suits” sorta line.

And that is what a lot of routine health care does in fact cost. £50 there, £200 the other. Still, absolutely, want insurance (and yes, the backstop always will be the state, in the end) for the car smashes, vile cancers and so on. But blood pressures, GPs, flus and the clap? Private seems sensible enough, no?

Something I’m not sure about

Total government compensation to the victims of the infected blood scandal could cost over £20 billion, The Sunday Telegraph understands.

Ministers have examined financial modelling which places the upper forecast for total compensation to be paid to those mistakenly infected with HIV and hepatitis C and their loved ones in the mid-£20 billions.

OK, I’m aware of the basic background, Factor VIII and so on, HIV and hepatitis.

But what is the actual claim about liability here?

a) The treatment had a bad outcome?

b) Government was incompetent at not stopping the bad outcome?

Those taking Factor VIII, for example, would be dead without Factor VIII. So, if it’s a) then well, you know, swings and roundabouts. If it’s b) then the idea of compo is more understandable.

But I’ve not followed this enough to know which of those two answer is correct.

To dive a little deeper, plasma and other blood productds do often come from the US and paid donors. No country, anywhere, that does not pay donors gains enough blood products – whole blood, yes, but blood products, no. So the mere fact that the supply was infected might not be enough. Say, HIV infection before, hhmmmm, 1985? hmmm, isn’t something to be held liable for because no one at all knew.

I do indeed know that lots of people got sick, died, as a result of contaiminated blood products. But how much of that was liability inducing error by government and how much, well, shit happens?

#Anyone actually know here? And no, Private Eye will not be taken as being an accurate source.

Well, no, not really

Princess of Wales hails children’s hospices as a ‘shining light’ to families

No one does actually look to that vision on a hill as a desirable place for their children.

It’s excellent that they’re there if, horrors, they are needed but…..

The modern allergies problem

Anecdotal evidence has long suggested that our allergy problem is getting worse, but until recently it’s been hard to be sure. We are better at diagnosing allergies than we were two centuries ago, say, and the theory has always been that back then, people were more worried about tuberculosis or any of the myriad other things which could kill you or your children in the pre-antibiotic and antiseptic age. A runny nose, itchy rash or upset stomach would barely register, meaning that while fatal reactions to bites and stings certainly happened, if respiratory, dermatological or food allergies did exist, no one took much notice. (On the other hand, diarists like Pepys recorded every niggle, so if chronic allergies had been common before the Industrial Revolution, debilitated sufferers would surely have left clues behind?)

Well, one answer – and it’s one of those answers which is definitely true, but whether it’s true enough to explain all is another matter – is that those with allergies used to die.

50% of all kids died by puberty, recall? From smallpox, colic, acaseofthewhatevers, which is a distinct culling of those not able to deal with the influences of the outside world. Gluten intolerance, cow’s milk maybe, these would be just the sorts of things to tip from maybe survive to probably die young.

Allergic adults today is one of the results of our having conquered that cull.

And today’s absolute fucking idiot is……

But salt is… bad? Right? Unequivocally so, according to Graham MacGregor, professor of cardiovascular medicine and chair of the campaigning group Action on Salt, though getting that message across is tricky. “It’s a very difficult battle because salt is seen as a normal part of our diet – it’s not. Every time you turn on the television there’s a chef adding salt – of course, they’re all salt addicts, they probably have high blood pressure. A lot of chefs have strokes.” The headline issue with salt is precisely that it raises blood pressure, increasing the risk of hypertension, the “silent killer”.

If you have no salt in your diet you die. It’s an essential nutrient.

“Too much” might be a bad idea, none kills.

First things first

Can drugs fix the UK’s adolescent obesity crisis?
A powerful new weight-loss medication may be approved for those aged 12 to 17. But healthcare professionals fear it ignores the underlying socioeconomic causes

We should probably start with the proof that we face a youth obesity crisis. Which we don’t, as Chris Snowdon has been pointing out for years.

So, the socioeconomic cause is that we’ve got liars running the analysis…..

Watch the argument change before your very eyes!

The UK is the sick man of Europe. Since 2010, improvements in healthy life expectancy have stalled, health inequalities have been increasing and health for people living in the most deprived areas has been getting worse. The country has been struggling with three big challenges: a decade of austerity, the Covid-19 pandemic and a cost-of-living crisis. Each of these has exposed a grim fact: Britain is an unhealthy place to be poor, even relatively poor.

A tottering NHS has not been the cause of these threats to health but, increasingly, it is not there when we need it. People have noticed. Satisfaction with the health service among the general population was at 34% in 1997. This picked up, reaching 70% in 2010 after Labour began its reforms and markedly increased funding. It has been downhill since, reaching a new low in 2022 with just 29% of people satisfied.

Michael Marmot’s spent decades shouting that inequality is what causes illness in the UK. Now that it’s fashionable to say the NHS is underfunded here he is saying that acshully, it’s because the NHS is underfunded.

Consistency’s not one of those things for the modern elite, is it?

So here’s an interesting question

British Black women die in childbirth at an appalling rate. I’m tired of fighting a racist system in vain
Candice Brathwaite
Black women are four times more likely than white women to die giving birth. Fixing that requires change that goes way beyond healthcare

Is there anywhere in the world where the black maternity death rate is lower than the white? That is, are we looking at a feature of British society or a feature of genetics?

For we do rather need to answer that question so as to be able to solve the problem, don’t we?

Sounds a bit, umm, well, you decide

A new breed of self-care companies has a salve for fragile masculinity: lavender- and tapioca-scented deodorants and moisturizers for the nutsack.

Umm, tapioca? Seriously, even after everything else about this, people are going for that root vegetable smell?