It was reported today that Ian Duncan Smith is threatening to stop heroin addicts from being able to claim incapacity benefits. About a hundred of my patients are heroin users and they are all signed off work. IDS pointed out that it was unfair that hardworking tax payers were paying for the addictions of others. This may well be true but is an attempt to force heroin users in to gainful employment really a viable option?
According to recent research about to be published, Type 2 diabetes treatment will use £16.9bn of the NHS budget as the number of diabetics rises from 3.8 million to 6.25 million by 2035. This has fueled scaremongering media reports with talk of “diabetes bankrupting the NHS within a generation”.
There NHS is running out of money. We are told this on an almost daily basis and unless you live in a cave, you’ll also know that GPs like me have been told that we are now going to be the people in charge of balancing the books.
According to recent research, one in four patients with dementia are being prescribed antipsychotics in order to sedate them and control difficult behaviour. The Daily Mail has reported this as being due to lazy carers not wanting the inconvenience of actually looking after the elderly. The truth is often different. This morning I was called by a distraught and exhausted wife whose gentle, loving husband has been transformed beyond all recognition by Alzheimer’s.
Mature medical students come from a more varied background than their undergraduate Contemporaries. Has the rise in tuition fees made studying medicine unattainable to a whole generation of potentially excellent doctors.
According to this report, there is an increase in complaints about patients being unfairly removed from general practice lists. If the daily mail reporting of the story is to be believed, these decisions are left up to heavy handed receptionists and managers who act like overzealous doormen and will boot you “off the list” if you’ve dared to tut that the nurse is running late or are unfortunate enough to suffer from the wrong sort of ailment.
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