Physios in Rushcliffe, Nottinghamshire, physiotherapists of all people, can no longer actually touch the patients they’re trying to apply physical therapy to. You’d think the clue is in the name, and you’d be right too, but helping the patient’s no longer the guiding principle in healthcare. Instead, making money is.
This is to save the private medical companies, the ones who now brand themselves as the NHS thanks to the Lansley Bill, the Bill that had the Cabinet pounding the table in triumph when it was passed, it’s to save them money. The technique is one of blame transference from doctor to patient and is a logical follow-on from the biopsychosocial model described so well by Gill Thorburn http://internationalgreensocialist.wordpress.com/illness-as-deviance-work-as-glittering-salvation-and-the-psyching-up-of-the-medical-model-strategies-for-getting-the-sick-back-to-work/. Essentially it involves blaming the patient for their illness and so alleviating the medical profession of any responsibility for their condition. No need for further treatment and no need to spend any more money.
Here’s how it works. After a recommendation by a specialist, the patient arrives for physio. In the traditional medical model, physio would be applied by a trained expert. If the patient responds, all well and good, if not, then this is duly reported back to the specialist in charge and a different approach will be tried. Surgery, perhaps. The medical profession accepts the continuing illness of the patient and spends more resources in attempting to heal them. Responsibility for the patient’s condition remains with the medical profession.
That’s what we had. We’ve lost it.
In this new model blame for the patient’s condition is shifted to the patient. It’s now their fault they’re ill, not the medical profession’s.
It’s done like this. Instead of actually applying physio, the patient is given a broad outline of how it works and told to treat themselves. Obviously in many if not most cases they can’t, but that’s irrelevant. When they don’t get well or even improve, they can then be told it’s because they’re not doing it right or because they aren’t doing it at all. It’s their fault then, that they aren’t well, and the medical profession need no have no further expensive involvement.
Also, and this will be a major attraction to government, it can and no doubt will be argued that because it’s their fault, any sickness-related benefits they may be receiving can be withdrawn as well. After all, will say the DWP, we have it from the healthcare professional in charge (i.e. a representative from one of the private medical companies mentioned above) that these people could be well if only they’d do what they’re told. It’s their fault they’re ill, then, so they’re not deserving of benefits.
The same attitude will no doubt be adopted by the private insurance companies, who we know (with the full approval of this and previous governments) are largely behind all this. See http://www.lwbooks.co.uk/register.php?r=journals/articles/rutherford07.html, http://www.whywaitforever.com/dwpatosbusinessunum.html.
There, in a nutshell, you have the principle which will govern the future of healthcare in Britain. It’s not the medical profession’s fault you’re ill, it’s yours. The medical profession won’t want to spend any money on you and you won’t be eligible for any sickness benefit or any unemployment/ill-health insurance you may have paid for. Expect to see it implemented nationwide in short order.
I mean, when you heard the Cabinet were banging on the tables that they’d got away with this, what did you THINK they were so happy about? This is the reality. Welcome to 2012, baby. The Mayans were right – the world you knew is gone.