Piece at Samizdata about the diagnosis/treatment imbalance in the NHS

Not much here today, what with yesterday’s dramas, but I have just ripped off a Samizdata piece, based on my recent medical experiences, entitled On the British National Health Service imbalance between lethargic diagnosis and really rather good actual treatment of serious medical conditions.

It features a link to this mighty beast:

That’s “Brunel”. Brunel has been giving me my first actual doses of cancer treatment, the third dose having been this afternoon. Two more, tomorrow and on the 31st. These treatments have been merely defensive, to stop my spine being damaged by the lung cancer tumor. Next week, if all proceeds as I hope, the actual attack on the tumor and on its spreading consequences will get under way.

2 thoughts on “Piece at Samizdata about the diagnosis/treatment imbalance in the NHS”

  1. Your experience with paying for more rapid diagnosis than the NHS could provide was similar to my father’s experience way back in 2003. He had various symptoms and was booked in for a NHS MRI scan — to be done many months in the future. However, it became clear that his symptoms were getting worse and eventually he paid for a privately done MRI scan. This showed a brain tumour. This allowed the NHS to begin treatment much sooner that would otherwise have been the case.

  2. Mark

    So many people have confirmed this distinction to me in recent days. That being why I made it my first Samizata posting since I got my bad news.

    The way some have put it to me is that when doctors are dealing with a known condition, they are in their comfort zone. Their basic model is that the human body is a machine. When the machine gets damaged, they are the mechanics who know just what to do, and they do it, with a sense of heroic certainty. They rebuild your leg. They dose your body with the necessary corrective drug, as if adding oil to an overheating car engine . Or, as with me, they put the machine that is me onto another machine. I for one am glad of all this confidence and competence, and regret only that I am not getting even more of it, such as there will surely be in the future. The body is a machine. It’s a great truth.

    But, it is not the whole truth. When this only metaphorical machine is not malfunctioning in any obvious and serious way, then the machine metaphor stops working, and all that holistic, airy-fairy stuff about wellness and positive mental attitude and spiritual cleanliness etc. etc. comes into play. At which point they flounder around, knowing no more than the rest of us about what they should then be doing.

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