Wednesday, 28 September 2016

UK (lack of) health care

Having been admitted to hospital for something potentially extremely serious the patient found themself discharged with a bottle of opioids and a letter to their GP saying that the patient needs an MRI scan but they (the hospital) can't afford to do it?

The GP practice is unwilling to send their patient for a scan, the reason being (I assume) purely financial in that the less they spend on referrals means more money in the pot for them to share and puts them in line for an additional bonus in the shape of incentive payments for reducing the practice's referral rates. All part of yet another NHS 'cost reduction' programme which puts patient health in danger.

The General Medical Council's (GMC) says that doctors must not accept any 'inducement, gift or hospitality' that influences or affects the way a doctor treats or refers patients and yet surely what we have in the case above is exactly that?

As a dog collar one of the most important parts of my role (up there with making Jesus known) is the pastoral care of those around me and this means that I am commissioned and commanded to 'fight the good fight' against each and every foe before me in whatever legal and morally correct form is appropriate to bring about what is right and good.

I'd be grateful for experiences (be careful regarding libel and the like) and other things which might inform and aid me in the strife before me.

I'd be grateful for prayer for the person this sad tale relates to and for her family and for wisdom for me as I seek to make a difference and be an agent for good.




underground pewster said...

When a physician believes a test is medically necessary, there should be no barriers to getting it done. clearly, putting financial disincentives in place can interfere with sound medical judgement, and that was the idea of the payor to begin with when that reimbursement scheme was devised. Another problem is that when a committee comes up with a list of indications for a test and the patient does not quite fit, then it takes a lot of time to fight for the test, therefore the physician is less likely to try to order the test in the first place. These are but a few of the ways that government or insurance companies try to cut costs while trying to avoid charges of rationing.

Vic Van Den Bergh said...

Indeed - Sadly the pressures on the NHS are such that some appear to fall between the crack where physician and bean counter meet.

Thanks for comments,