Monday, 16 April 2018

Days, weeks and months.

Most people will be aware that a lot of dates in the calendar are dedicated to some historical event, or worthy cause. Many of the dedications are well worth honouring, such as "Human Rights Day", December 10, "International Beer Day" (YAY!) 1 August, or "International Holocaust Remembrance Day" January 27.

Others, though this is purely DZ subjective opinion are  a little more............dubious? "International day of Francophonie", March 20 ("Nous nous rendon" seems to cover most eventualities.) Also "World Puppetry Day" March 21, and "Star Wars Day" May 4! (Yes really!)

And finally others are positively shite. In particular is April 10, the birthday (in 1755) of Christian Friedrich Samuel Hahnemann, the founder of the utter bilge known as homeopathy. The date has now been appropriated by quacks as "International Homeopathy Awareness Day" Indeed, so keen are they to perpetuate and encourage this tripe that the day seems to have metamorphosed into a whole week, which, thankfully ends today. It was preceded by "Chiropracty week", celebrating another load of pseudoscientific drivel, pushed by a load of quacks.

Why they should be entitled to a whole week when the cause of abolishing slavery only gets one day is beyond me.

But my faith is restored by the fact that some causes actually get a whole month. And one such is just around the corner. May is "International Masturbation Month"

In the words of the song "It does me good, like it bloody well should". Which is more than you can say for homeopathy or chiropracty.

Tuesday, 27 March 2018

Price of a hard on.

DZ has noticed, purely professionally, that Sildenafil is now available over the counter. When you look at the pharmacology of the drug there's no reason why it shouldn't be. But you do wonder why the drug companies are so supportive of this move. Could it just be that the basic cost of the generic version of this drug is about 40p a tablet. So an NHS prescription costing £8.80 could provide 22 tablets and the taxpayer would break even. Similarly a private prescription could provide 50 tablets for £20.

Buying Viagra over the counter will get you just 4 tablets for £20, or £5 each.

You don't suppose it's all just a con to protect someone's profit margins do you?

Friday, 9 March 2018

Medical dishonesty

Another case for the "some doctors will do anything for money" file. Regular readers here will be aware that DZ has a somewhat cynical view of his own profession, and the motivations of at least some of his colleagues.

So reading about this case came as no surprise to him. Insurance fraud is now becoming quite a big thing these days and, DZ is pleased to see the insurance companies starting to fight back.

The claim was described in court as "blatantly false". But it could not have proceeded without the encouragement of a claims management company. We've all had calls from these parasites, wanting to generate spurious claims from nothing. DZ enjoys immensely responding appropriately to these leeches. They also had their own tame solicitor. One wonders if the Solicitor's Regulation Authority has a procedure for those who act dishonestly.

We of course have the GMC.

It is clear that the claim was fully supported by a doctor, who must have been fully aware that the claim was false, but went ahead anyway for the money. This one case is just the tip of the iceberg. Pretty much every false personal injury claim made, be it a holiday claim, accident at work, traffic incident or whatever, has to have the collusion of a crooked doctor. The GMC good practice guide is quite clear on what it expects.

"71. You must be honest and trustworthy when writing reports, and when completing or signing forms, reports and other documents.22 You must make sure that any documents you write or sign are not false or misleading.
a. You must take reasonable steps to check the information is correct.
b. You must not deliberately leave out relevant information."

Time to start acting on this I think boys!

Wednesday, 7 February 2018

Mandatory waste of time

DZ has just lost several hours of his life engaged in "Mandatory Training", the annual foray into areas of knowledge utterly irrelevant and pointless to his actual job. Conducted on line, he is supposed to read a number of documents and then answer questions on the contents rather like the comprehension exercises he did at school when he was six.

The questions fall into a number of categories;
1. The stupidly obvious. for example, choose one of the two following answers about the cause of dementia. 1.Some brain cells become damaged, or 2. as a result of limb amputation. Even the demented would get that right just by counting their limbs.
2. Clinical questions so simple that a foetus with medical ambitions would get right. e.g. Platelets are involved in blood clotting, true or false. Strewth!
3. Questions where the options don't include the correct answer. Such as the one asking what appraisal is. The options strangely don't include "An utter bag of shit tied up with string".
4. But perhaps the commonest questions are those which all have the same answer, like these;
   How many stages are there between taking a blood sample, and transfusion?
   What year was The Patient's association set up?
   How many "C"s are there in "Compassion in practice"
   What does the Royal College of Nursing think about (anything)?
   Anything at all about food handling.
   What year was .................................?
   How many reasons are there for "challenging behaviour"

So what is the common answer to so many questions in such diverse areas?


So two sessions of clinical work were given up for this crap. Extend that to every medical practitioner in the UK, all 250,000 of them and you get a total of half a million clinical sessions. That's the equivalent of 1623 full time doctors, and a part timer. Toss the whole process in the bin and you overnight effectively gain that many extra doctors at no cost.

Lest it be thought that my ire is because I failed the tests I'd like to point out that I did very well, like every other doctor in the place. But not because we were all diligent and attentive. It's because we all had (unofficial) access to a crib sheet.

Yes, DZ cheated!

Thursday, 18 January 2018


Those who have followed my blog for any length of time will be aware of my feelings on freedom of speech. The concept is constantly under attack and has to be constantly defended. Governments don't like it, though most democracies would not dare diminish it. But companies, individuals and organisations, including the GMC, repeatedly try to stamp on it, and rely on financial or authoritarian muscle to bully their way over the right to freedom of speech.

Practitioners of complementary and alternative medicine seem particularly aggrieved by freedom of speech. This is hardly surprising. When you profit by dishonesty, mendacity and fraud you hardly want anyone drawing attention to it now do you. The attempted silencing of Simon Singh by the British Chiropractic association is a good example.

Another recent example has recently come to light. I'm not going to go through the details, the link takes you to a fully comprehensive account.

It's notable that, an American quack is attempting to sue a German resident, who is being supported by an Australian sceptics association. It is also worth mentioning that Colleen Huber, or to give her her correct medical title, Colleen Huber, would almost certainly fall foul of the Cancer Act 1939 if she were to make her ludicrous claims in the UK.

Ms Huber also seems not to have taken into account the Streisand effect. Her actions have drawn her a great deal of adverse attention worldwide, and the fund set up to defend Ms Hermes has collected 54,000 dollars (Aus) in 4 days. A great many people have written a great deal about Ms Huber and her dodgy dealings.

DZ has never been one to hold back against these people. Colleen Huber's treatments are unsupported bilge. Her "research" and practice an utter disgrace. Her claims are distorted, exagerated, invented, fabricated and without foundation in fact or reality. In promoting her bogus treatments, and discouraging conventional treatments she is undoubtedly causing the premature deaths of many of her victims.

Colleen Huber

Ms Huber has produced a promotional video entitled "Cancer can be killed with Colleen Huber". Well, the only thing likely to be killed by Ms Huber is her unfortunate patients.


Thursday, 21 December 2017


"Damian Green was sacked because he
lied, says Jeremy Hunt"
Fuck me Jeremy. Does that mean you'll be going soon too?.........Please?

Saturday, 7 October 2017


Age is said to bring wisdom, but, sadly, this is no guarantee that we stop making stupid mistakes as we get older. DZ is no exception. In the last few years, among other poor decisions, he has used his teeth as a wire stripper on a live wire, and used a power saw on a ceiling panel that had an asbestos warning attached. He is currently carrying some minor scars from an unfortunate encounter with a motorcyclist. One of his offspring has commented that he has "more lives than a cat"

He is also not immune from gaffs in the area of social interaction. There is a lady who DZ is quiet close too. She has recently and relatively late in life for a congenital condition been diagnosed with hip dysplasia. DZ response to this news was perhaps a little tactless. "Oh," I said "I once had a dog with that problem". The lady asked me what treatment had been given for the condition. Perhaps DZ should have thought before answering. "There was nothing for it, we had him put down"