How much is your life worth to your GP?

That’s not a rhetorical question, because your life, and health, will soon have a cash value to your GP – and it does not favour your long-term survival if your are chronically sick.

It appears that our GPs. already well paid (average GP pay £105,300, according to the Guardian), are to be paid bonuses to keep patients out of hospital.

The Nuffield Trust says of the idea that patients may perceive this as money that should be spent on health care, rather than going to line GPs pockets, to the detriment of  their patients.

May perceive? How could it possibly be viewed in any other way? It’s simple bribery – abandon your principles and we’ll pay you for it.

I would have no objection (well, I would, but maybe that’s just me), to doctors getting bonuses for maximising patient care (as opposed to payments, as now, for utterly pointless annual spirometry and BP checks, for example), but, and call me Mr. Picky, isn’t that actually what they’re paid to do anyway?

I’ve visited this theme previously, when it was announced that unplanned (i.e., emergency),  hospital admissions were to be cut by 20%. Now, instead of the GPs being up in arms over that, they are going to be paid to ensure it happens and, as I said last time, this is a programme for needless suffering and death – a purging of those of us who are expensively sick.

I see no reason to change that view.

I’ve had very little to do with hospitals, as an in-patient, but that’s mainly because, sick and disabled though I have been all my life, I’ve stayed extremely fit and active (within limits, obviously), with the result that, until relatively recently, my COPD has been less severe than it would otherwise have been.

But that’s changing rapidly, and if I need to be admitted to hospital then that’s what I need. What I most certainly do not need is some goddamned GP, with one eye on his bank balance, deciding whether he can afford for me to live a bit longer, or would he rather have a new car instead!

Because as sure as god made little green apples, that WILL happen. Maybe not to me, but to somebody.

And isn’t this whole idea simply, and obscenely, wrong? Is this government so morally bankrupt that it is willing to pay GPs a bonus to assist in actively shortening a patients’ lives? Because that’s what it comes down to.

A more important question, I think, is just how many GPs are so morally bankrupt that they’ll go along with this?

People, on the whole, are not admitted to hospital frivolously, they are admitted because that’s where they need to be, so that they might receive the proper level of care. Bribing GPs to keep them at home won’t change that need one iota – it will simply put patients’ health – and lives – at risk.

The Nuffield Trust believes that this scheme is liable to be greeted antagonistically by patients – which is probably an understatement. Somebody whose aged parent, or young child, dies as a direct result of this scheme may well feel justified in taking a baseball bat to the GP concerned.

And I, for one, would find it impossible to condemn them.

Any GP who would put money before the lives of his or her patients would be a disgrace to the profession.


6 thoughts on “How much is your life worth to your GP?

  1. ron as always you are spot on,pity you are not able to put your brill mind to better use eg writting for a newspaper.keep going at least we are hearing you,cheers adgeboy.

    • Always wanted to be a journalist, but when I was young I was pathologically shy, so that was never gonna work (on the other hand, it might have done me good – as I didn’t get past the interview for the local paper, we’ll never know!). As it turned out, 10 years as a union rep got it out of my system . . .

  2. try the mental health system everyone dont see the waiting times for them ive been waiting since july i have an appointment finaly in febuary no more cpn no more crisis line that changed when i moved up north they dont act if i dont its actualy easyer harming your self getting sectioned and getting treated i know a few people in my bote some people might not agree that we are not sick im ok at the mmoment with a lot of support online form people i have to get that support online cause i need it i found out last night i needed support online and everyone was only to helpfull i was at my doctors this morning hes going to see me in six weeks im strugeling and hell see me in six weeks well lets hope im ok for six weeks i have taught myself i have to grow up a little i know that and im doing my best i could do with a bit support off the NHS but theyve decided im low risk well anyway enuff of ranting i would score myself at 0 saying that ill give myself two cause treatment is supposed to start in febuary

  3. bit of a shame,but i think these days the highly paid jobs in tv and journalism are not what you know but who you know,that why tv etc is crap.anyway you never know one day some one will read your articles and you will get your just reward,in the meantime keep entertaining us lesser mortals. sorry my grammer etc is not up to scratch but never got chance for a good education in my day, had to go out at 14 and earn the pennies. ps i am 73. good luck with your health.

    • Cheers, Adge.

      These days, without a degree, there’s no hope of getting into journalism – not that you’d ever guess by some of the cobblers that gets written.

      I’ve had one of my posts republished in a medical publication (this one which will put me in front of a wider audience), and I was invited to join Wellsphere something over a year ago, based on my COPD work here.

      My subscriber list is constantly growing, too.

      I’m happy with the way things are going, it’s just a pity blogs weren’t invented 40 years earlier.


  4. good luck ron you deserve it, especially after listening to the plonkers today in parliament,where is it all going,the people who run our lives do not have to in them cheers adgeboy

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