It seems only yesterday that DZ wrote his first post, thinking he was consigning his musings to obscurity. Since then he has found his blog has led him into undreamed of areas. One post alone has now attracted 6000 visits. Who are all these people? And where does the time go? Two years on
I was astounded to see this headline in “Hospital Doctor”. I wondered how rectal examinations could cost that much, surely rubber gloves are cheap. It seems though that they are talking about Public Relations.
For some time now the GMC have been seeking to extend their tyrannical grip of doctors, not just in the professional area, but also into their private lives. Their recent poll on whether they should regulate doctors’ private behaviour got the sort of response it deserved and they had to shelve that one.
But they don’t give up, and now they are introducing “guidance” on how doctors use the social media. This might superficially seem like a reasonable idea. However the existing rules on patient confidentiality are already robust enough to extend to the web, and any doctor stupid enough to identify specific patients can already be dealt with.
So it has to be the case that these rules are really aimed at a doctor’s private life. one particular paragraph that caught my eye was this one.
“doctors should treat colleagues fairly and with respect and should not bully, harass or make gratuitous, unsubstantiated or unsustainable comments about individuals online. They should usually identify themselves and be aware that any information uploaded anonymously will often be able to be traced back to its origin.”
This again at first sight might seem reasonable, but bear in mind that if anyone thinks they have been libelled they already have access to redress under the existing law, that many think is itself far too skewed in favour of the plaintiff. They can also complain to the GMC if anything is said that undermines a patient’s trust in his doctor. (Para 47).
And there is the threat, thinly veiled. You should identify yourself. None of us on the web has a right to anonymity, and this has recently been confirmed in a court case, but nor are we obliged to identify ourselves. Where appropriate a court order can be issued forcing an ISP to identify bloggers and the like but the GMC clearly want to bypass this safeguard. And the last line translates to “we can find out who you are”.
The rules as proposed could easily be abused to silence criticism of the GMC itself, and individuals within it, and are an assault on freedom of speech. If forced to identify themselves most medical bloggers would cease blogging and the voice of dissent would be silenced. Perhaps that is exactly what they are trying to do.
A recent conversation between DZ and a colleague in another speciality.
DZ...”I read recently that it is estimated that, in the UK, there is now more money spent annually on prostitutes than on going to the cinema. Mind you I suppose that a tart costs a lot more than the cinema.”
Coll...”I wouldn’t know, I haven’t been to the cinema in years”
The revalidation juggernaut rumbles on, as coldly malicious to it’s opponents as the truck in the film “Duel”.
Grass roots opposition to this is now almost universal. Most of us can see what a pointless exercise this is and how absurd it is beginning to look. The absurdity is epitomised by the GMC recommendations on feedback. This is so obviously a waste of time, lots of time, but those idiots at the GMC can’t see it. True to form that fool Dickson is spouting enthusiastically about this. Isn’t it worrying that the GMC is run by a man so intellectually impaired that he actually thinks this is a good idea.
When it comes to feedback the data collected will be worthless for two simple reasons. Firstly feedback from the punters is almost always going to be positive, and I have commented on this before. Secondly, as for feedback from colleagues, would any of you out there actually drop one of your colleagues in the shit? If so that says more about you than the subject. And are you actually going to seek feedback from someone you don’t get on with? Or are you going to all get down the pub together, fill out your own forms and have your mates sign them?
Even the BMA is waking up to the appalling car crash that this is going to be and have expressed many very valid criticisms.
But the BMA don’t yet seem to have cottoned on to the fact that the profession could stop the whole process dead in it’s tracks, as I have explained before. Wake up you bastards, and send this truck over the cliff.
Further to my last post a new search phrase has brought someone to DZ blog today. "are nurses easy lays?" I don't quite know why google thinks I would have the answer. Perhaps one or two of my readers would know. How about you Grumpy, are you an easy lay?
Another blogger, the angry medic I think, recently remarked how he occasionally looks at the search words people enter into google that bring them to his blogg. I’ve never really noticed this but over the course of a few weeks I have been looking. Among others these search terms have appeared;
One of the founding principle of the NHS was that it should be free at the point of use. Over the years this principle has been nibbled at around the edges. Charges do now apply for eye tests & spectacles, prescriptions, and of course dentistry. That is if you can even find a dentist who provides NHS dental care.
One of the ways in which the punters can be encouraged into “patient self care” is by making them pay for the real thing. So here is an example from dentistry to warm the heart of Mike Farrer.
Another blogger has highlighted some odd goings on regarding this article in the Telegraph. As Julie points out the article is not particularly remarkable. The author of the article, Max Pemberton, has made some very valid points and expressed his opinion, as he has every right to do. If it is true that Richard Branson has tried to stop this being published then that is outrageous. The media have come in for a lot of, quite justified, criticism recently over the phone hacking scandal, but the freedom of the press is something that safeguards us all.
It is bad enough being deceived, cheated, lied to and robbed of the NHS. Are we going to have to put up with being gagged as well?
The Telegraph is a big boy in the world of newspapers. It is quite capable of defending itself, and I think it pretty unlikely that the article will disappear. But if it does, I’ve got a copy.
Back in December I posted on the chief executive of the NHS executive and his view that the punters should take their ailments off elsewhere, anywhere except an NHS hospital. A concept he calls “patient self care”. Since then I have been on the lookout for instances of this, and posted one recently. Well I have found another case of DIY surgery. Mr Farrer will be pleased.
This is the latest scam doing the rounds and parting the foolish and the desperate from their cash with promises of spectacular weight loss. Adds for this are permeating far more than the usual places, and they have even hacked into facebook accounts. DZ has even had one as a comment on his blog.
This is actually two scams in one. HCG drops proper claim to contain Human Chorionic Gonadotrophin, which the scammers claim affects metabolism to burn off fat.
Those who might consider trying this should think about three basic facts.
1. HCG is produced in pregnancy in quite large amounts. Pregnancy does NOT as a rule cause weight loss. Does it?
2. HCG is a polypeptide hormone, a protein. If you take it orally exactly the same thing happens to it as any other ingested protein, such as fish, or bacon. It’s broken down by the digestive process. You won’t absorb any HCG, only the amino acids it’s been broken down into
3. HCG drops are supposed to be taken in conjunction with a strict 500 calorie a day diet in order to result in weight loss. You will lose weight on 500 cals a day most definitely whether or not you take HCG.
This latter principle is illustrated well by another aspect of this scam. You can also get homeopathic HCG, which unsurprisingly, in conjunction with a 500 cal/day diet, results in weight loss too. It’s HOMEOPATHY. There’s fuck all in it!
Both products have been declared fraudulent and illegal by the FDA in the USA.
So if you want to lose weight, and are prepared to endure a 500 cal/day diet, good luck to you. If you can stick to it it will work. But don’t fool yourself that the weight loss is due to these worthless, and expensive products. Save your money and treat yourself to some smaller size clothes.
I think it fair to say that customs and immigration officers the world over do not have much of a reputation for a sense of humour. Travellers who joke about bombs, weapons, drugs or contraband are likely to encounter a very hostile response up to and including refusal of entry to the country. Often preceded by searches of the individual that can be very uncomfortable.
Even those carrying prescription medications are well advised to carry a letter verifying the bona fide nature of their drugs.
They can also be very suspicious about anything about the traveller that is the slightest bit unusual. Like a bit of string hanging from your bottom.