So, the Conservative wheeze for keeping down waiting lists in NHS hospitals is well and truly out of the bag.
Can you believe they pay GPs incentives to limit the number of people they refer to specialists at the hospitals?
How do GPs make decisions and achieve this limitation one wonders? After foundation training (four years), doctors who choose a specific area of hospital based medicine then train for an additional five to seven years to become specialists in their field.
This is why if we have a problem in a particular area, we need to be referred to hospital to see such a specialist so they can assess if we need treatment.
The idea of limiting the number of patients to be referred, seems to suggest that only a certain number of people in any practice can be referred at the same time.
Clearly we must all time our illnesses very carefully!
Perhaps GPs could have screens up like the ones in car parks indicating how many spaces are available on the referral list in any given week!
Will this lead to unseemly scrambles for places, like Black Friday?
Given the Conservatives drive to make us believe they value transparency, perhaps they should have league tables showing which GPs have received the largest cheques for limiting their referrals.
Many GPs are unhappy about these incentives as they feel they undermine GP/patient trust. Too right!
I am glad to say, making this discovery has not made me question my GP’s practice. I feel confident that if I need to be referred I will be, but do others share my confidence, now they are aware how the Conservative government is trying to control the clinical decisions of GPs?
Even more ludicrous is to see a reporter, reminiscent of Squealer in George Orwell’s Animal Farm, trying to persuade us that this is all part of the Conservatives’ drive to save the NHS money!
So what happened to the need to save lives?
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