paracetamol and google or where NHS budget cuts are leading us

Some time ago I had to visit my local GP (General Practicioner) to discuss certain health issues. The nurse who was talking to me ended up looking up for answers to my questions on google.Very useful visit.

About half a year ago i was having regular and severe headaches, which even forced me to take sick leave as i was not able to work or do anything but sleep. When i went to GP to discuss this, the first answer was – headaches are normal. As i kept asking why i have such headaches, the doctor said that actually it is a very subjective thing: nobody can really see headache, nobody can measure it, therefore headache is in my head, i create my own headache. Then, already knowing that there are certain tests one can do to check your head/brain etc (computed tomography and magnetic resonance, for example) i asked if  i can do any tests trying to find out the causes of my headaches. First, he denied that it is possible at all to find out the causes. It is impossible, he stated. Moreover, apart from measuring my body temperature, blood pressure and testing my blood, there is nothing else to be done. Then, i was asking, so what about migraine. Maybe I have a migraine? Then he started to ask more in detail about my headaches and said that maybe i have a migraine, but he is not sure. He suggested me to take specific migraine pills when i would have my headache again and then – if headaches would stop, then i have a migraine, if not – then i dont.

When i am reading now about the Government’s plans to cut NHS budget by 20bn GBP until 2014/2015 which would mean making redundant about 40 000 posts, i am ‘mildly’ concerned. According to my experience (as you can read below) GPs – the first health specialists people would meet in case of health problems – are already very general and would not always be able to identify serious illnesses. They already are not very keen to send people to specific health checks (X-ray etc) and whatever would be the problem will always recommend you to take paracetamol (they love paracetamol, but i also know, that paracetamol never solves the problem; it only delays). Already now you are lucky if you manage to get your appointment in 3-5 days time unless you are not working and can take time off from work. Already now we can read about people who need medical assistance but because of lack of space they would be sent home or would be treated in corridors.

I have been discussing this with few people and some would strongly disagree with me. but then, i would ask – where do you live? Because, this is another issue – richer boroughs have better GP practices, while poorer, more ethnically diverse boroughs would have lower standards and therefore expectations of what you can receive.

Health and education will always be a significant bill to the Governments, but i strongly believe, that the more you compromise on these, the more at the end you have to spend and pay elsewhere. Tories will regret that.


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