An article in the Telegraph caught my eye today:
The NHS is doomed unless there is carnage at the top. Start with Sir David Nicholson
In his interview in this morning’s Today programme, of all the scary things said by Gary Walker, a sacked NHS whistleblower, was the simple sentence: “If you’re a doctor, where else can you work?”
In other words, if a doctor, a nurse or other medical specialist incurs the wrath of the NHS establishment by complaining about the treatment of patients, his or her career is doomed. Institutions are by their nature self-protective, so it’s unlikely that someone sacked by the NHS as a troublemaker would be warmly welcomed by the private sector.
Walker was a senior manager rather than a doctor – head of the United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust – when he got up the corporate nose of the bosses of the East Midlands Strategic Health Authority after refusing to put patients at risk by sticking rigidly to government targets rather than giving precedence to urgent cases. He was eventually sacked for swearing at a meeting – which even if true would be a preposterous reason – and paid off in 2010 with around half a million quid of taxpayers’ money (including lawyers’ costs) – on the understanding that he kept his mouth firmly shut. He agreed, because he had a family to feed and the alternative was financial ruin.
If a senior executive is treated like that, who can blame medical staff for being scared?
I stay as far away as I can from the NHS these days, and I’ve called several times for healthist, antismoking doctors to be purged from the UK medical establishment (as well as the WHO and the universities). So this article struck an immediate chord in me.
As Walker put it today: ‘This is a culture which is driven by the top… a culture of fear, a culture of oppression. If you consider that the people who have been running the NHS created that culture of fear, they need to either be held to account or new people need to be brought in to change that culture.’
It’s a culture of fear and oppression which extends far beyond the NHS, in the form of a long-term, state-sponsored, hate campaign directed against smokers, and increasingly also drinkers and anyone deemed to be overweight. And it comes right from the top, and the culprits are usually called Sir Somebody O’rother.
The fish has rotted from the head, so it’s the head that first needs severing. We need to see people being sacked for poor leadership, for covering-up and for the persecution of whistleblowers,
And the persecution of a great many other people as well. And this is exactly what needs to be done. The whole, rotten, stinking head must be sawn off. And if nothing else, its current condition may explain the silence of the medical profession in the lower ranks beneath the putrefying head:
If you’re a worried doctor or nurse who has seen people like Gary Walker being driven out for challenging dangerous orthodoxy, you will look the other way when you see wrongdoing.
I suppose that, until recently, I regarded the NHS as one of Britain’s crown jewels, offering ‘free’ healthcare to everybody. But these days I’ve come to realise that, when the state pays the doctor’s wages, the state can determine the policy of the entire medical profession, overriding the conscience and the beliefs of the individual doctors within it. And that is exactly what’s happening with the NHS, which is now seemingly completely driven by top-down, healthist, antsmoking, eugenicist imperatives. If you get sick, it’s probably your fault for smoking, drinking, or being too fat – and you not only deserve every disease that you get, but you also deserve to die.
Part of the problem seems to be that, despite 10+ years of public heath campaigns, smoking bans, etc, hospitals are bursting with patients (which was the reason why Gary Walker got fired, when he refused to axe emergency services in the hospitals for which he was responsible).
I wonder why the hospitals are chock full of patients? Could it be that once people quit smoking and drinking and eating and enjoying life, and sign up to the miserabilist killjoy healthist lifestyle, they promptly start getting sick in droves?
When I eventually come down with lung cancer
or and heart disease or and smoking-related old age, there’ll probably be no point looking for medical treatment. So I’m planning to self-medicate with Chivas Regal, and cigars, and pork sausages deep-fried in lard and coated with brandy butter. And opium, if I can get hold of any. Because there won’t be anything else.