Monday, January 07, 2008

Are You A Doctor Then?

It really is the Blood Donor:

Commissar Johnson: Yeah, we're going to introduce a simple ultrasound test to detect early abdominal aortic aneurysm, or Triple A... obvious really.

Taxpaying punter: Are you a doctor then?

Johnson: Well, nah, not really. I never really bothered.

Bottler and No O Levels Rockin' Al J have today wheeled out the future of Stalinist healthcare. It's a real cracker:

  • Entirely top down- yet again, the commissars have cooked up a load of headline grabbing prescriptions for the NHS without consulting the medics who are supposed to implement them. At all. When this was put to Rockin' Al he simply said he was "leading"... like, he's this REALLY BIG EXPERT...
  • No resources- preventative screening is the New Big Idea. But apart from the fact it isn't actually new, there are no additional resources to pay for it- just a Stalinist redirection of existing money. Exactly the same thing applies to the bunker's whacky Deep Clean order to abolish MRSA etc.
  • Yet more quangos- a new Care Quality Commission to join the existing pile of useless bureaucratic junk weighing down the NHS (eg see this blog on the hopeless National Patient Safety Agency)
  • More Stalingrad Management- "tougher powers to impose fines and close down wards in the case of poor standards... removing underperforming hospital management... shooting defeatists and cowards..."
  • People's Republic Whistle Blowing- "giving matrons new powers to report safety concerns direct to the Care Quality Commission"- just as in China, the ruling elite needs ways of getting workers and peasants to blow the gaff on counter-revolutionary elements among local party officials.

None of this is new- regular BOM readers will find all of it depressingly familiar.

Yet, despite all evidence to the contrary, the commissars still believe they know best. What's more, they still believe they can somehow pull the levers and find they're actually connected up to the sharp end.


PS Yes, Tyler realises only really really old people like him will be familiar with Hancock and the Blood Donor. And yes, when you view it nearly half a century later, you do wonder how he had the nerve to read his lines from a script board. But it was funny at the time. No, trust me, it was.


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