Saturday, January 08, 2005

# NHS - non-helpful system?

A visit to local clinic left me feeling dismayed at the bureaucratic system of the National Health System NHS.

A contstant dry cough and breathlessness for more than 2 weeks raised my attention about my own health so I decided seek medical help instead of recovering by self at home. I hoped to have some professional advice and diagnosis whether my asthma has come back.

Realized my registered clinic was closed so went to the walk-in centre nearby. I remembered enquiring the hospital staff when I first came and she told me that we actually do not have to register at a local clinic since we can 'walk in' into the walk-in centre anytime we need to seek medical help. but i got registered anyway as I did not really feel safe hanging around without a registered health-centre and doctor.

Waited for 3 hours at the clinic and when it was my turn, the doctor told me that they have recently changed the system such that the walk-in centre NO LONGER treat patients who are registered. He declined to treat me and said I should make an appointment with my own registered doctor. I was utterly dismayed and I explained that I have went to my own clinic and since it was closed, I came to the walk-in centre, and I further explained that I was previously told that the walk-in centre provides the service of "Walk-IN".

After some arguing, he reluctantly agreed to take a look at me. Disappointingly, he gave no real help to the problems I raised. Even though I explained my circumstances of prolonged cough and no sign of recovery after long period, he gave the same advice of drinking water, eating fruits and resting. I have been doing that and NOW I wish to get further advice on my dry cough, sir. So I enquired whether I can seek any help of getting check up for asthma, and he promptly answered he was no specialist to do that. when I enquired how I could get a specialist diagnosis, he curtly said "I dunno". such was the manner of a doctor, whose job is to treat patients and provide help to human race.

I was disappointed at the lack of professionalism of the doctors so I decided to research a bit about NHS.

Information from nurse staff in UK revealed that the NHS was facing shortage of doctors so they imported overseas doctor from India, some of whom do not have enough qualification.

From Financial Times 24 Apr 02, NHS Clinical negligence bill rose to 4.4 billion pounds. Cases of clinical negligence is still on the climb, while its financial office is facing strain in funds and budgets.

Report by Lindsay Wise, Alexander Harris Solicitors shows a rise in hospital-superbug infection such as MRSA Contamination (MRSA = Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus, infection after hospitalisation/surgery due to bacteria growing resistant to the normal penicillins)

The European Antimicrobial Resistance Surveillance System data for 2002 showed UK has the worst rates of MRSA in Europe, probably due to lack of importance and resources placed on infection control measures.

There are many more issues to be explored and looked into.

I certainly hope that measures to improve the efficiency of health care and medical treatment will be carried out systematically and effectively. A few areas worth looking into are: bureaucracy in medical treatment procedures, ratio of doctor to patient, hygiene and infection control, clinical negligence prevention, etc. British tax-payers have contributed so much to the health system and it is annoying to see such states of service provided.

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