Would you pay £10 to see a GP?

Would you pay £10 to see a GP?

Front-line NHS services are struggling and seeing a doctor is more difficult than ever, so would you pay £10 to see a GP?

This is just one of the many suggestions that has been put forward recently in an attempt to reduce pressure of vital front line NHS resources and raise money for the underfunded service.

Many people are understandably against paying £10 to see a GP. After all, when the NHS was created it was supposed to be free at the point of delivery. However, others already pay to see a dentist and some experts are arguing that people who are better off should pay for basic services.

Means tested NHS

The problem with asking those who ‘can afford it’ to pay to see a GP is that society begins to slide down a slippery slope of means testing use of the NHS. This could be an expensive and bureaucratic process for a service already under pressure from existing rules and regulations.

A free NHS is something to be proud of

Expecting people to pay £10 to see a GP means that the privatisation of the NHS would have commenced and it would open the floodgates for more areas to be privatised.

Our NHS must remain free – it’s the world leading example in how free healthcare should be.

Give tax breaks to those who pay for private healthcare

The lucky amongst us can afford to pay for private healthcare. Of course, the more people who pay for private healthcare the less stress their is on the NHS.

However, private healthcare is very expensive. Perhaps one answer would be to offer some sort of tax relief for those people who pay for their own healthcare? Private healthcare is already exempt from VAT but perhaps it would be more useful to offer another incentive.

Something needs to be done

The fact is that many NHS services in the UK are under pressure and something needs to be done to protect it. It is becoming increasingly common for people to say that they are unable to see a GP and A&E departments across the UK are complaining that they simply can’t cope with the pressure.

Perhaps asking people to pay £10 to see their GP would deter the time-wasters (no need to go to the doctor if you have a cold), whilst at the same time help increase funding for the NHS and recruit more trained staff.

Frontal lobotomy conducted using ECT (video)

frontal labotomy

A video has emerged on Youtube showing the graphic detail of a person receiving a frontal lobotomy.

The footage, shot in black and white and appearing to be from c.1960 shows a female patient receiving Electroconvulsive Treatment (ECT) to force unconsciousness, followed by a procedure which includes entering the frontal lobe from above the eyelid to remove “most of the connections to and from the prefrontal cortex”.

This procedure for frontal lobotomy was used in the UK and USA for a number of years and believed to be able to cure mental illnesses.

WARNING: This video is quite graphic. It’s definitely not for the squeamish.

Kidney Stones and how to prevent them – my experience

Kidney Stones
My kidney stones

Kidney stones can be a real surprise. On Friday I woke up feeling fine, got showered, had some breakfast and went to work. At about 9.30 I had the sudden urge to pee so off I went to the loo and what happened next can only be explained as the feeling that someone had taken a blowtorch to my stomach – intense pain from inside my abdomen.

The pain lasted most of the day and I kept drinking water and cranberry juice in a bid to stave off any impending infection. Over the next 24 hours the pain seem to subside to a dull ache – despite me having the regular need to pee – so I went out for my Father-in-Law’s 60th birthday party. On arrival at the pub I was presented with a pint of beer and this continued for the rest of the evening. This would later become a process I would regret entering in to.

I woke up on Sunday morning and something didn’t feel right. My lower-left back was throbbing with pain, I felt sick and my groin was painful. I also felt very light headed and I knew it wasn’t a hangover. As the day went on the pain became worse. I had some Paramol (the strongest painkiller available without a prescription) but this wasn’t helping. By late afternoon I was getting to the verge of tears with the pain and my wife insisted I go to the local Walk-In centre.

Two hours later the pain had subsided (I found walking around helped) but I was seen by a doctor and explained that I thought I was suffering from a UTI. It was at the point the GP explained that men very rarely get a UTI and if they do there’s usually something else causing it. He took a sample of my urine, dipped in a special test strip, and informed me that I didn’t have an infection.

Much to my concern, there was a trace of blood in my urine. Needless to say I was instantly worried, however, the GP assured me that it was a very minor trace nothing at the point to be concerned about. His diagnoses? Kidney stones. I don’t drink enough water and this is likely to have been the cause. All that alcohol had only dehydrated me even more and the trace of blood was likely being caused by the stone causing minute tears as it made its way through me. Nice!

Off I was sent with a prescription for a decent painkiller and Naproxen anti-inflammatory, told to see my GP, and went back home to rest. The new drugs helped and I managed a decent nights sleep. I took the next day off work to recover and clean my system; drinking loads of water, eating fruit an veg, avoiding anything unnatural and anything containing caffeine.

It was later that day, whilst going for a pee, that something odd happened. I felt the flow of my pee stop and go for just half a second and heard a faint ‘ping’ from the toilet bowl. When I looked down there was a small stone in the bowl. It had come from me!

In my excitement I fished it out with an old pair of grips and gave it a thorough wash. And there it was!

What you can do to prevent kidney stones

Although some people are more prone to kidney stone than others, there are some things that we can all do to prevent them occuring:

  • drink plenty of fluids. in particular water (2l a day)
  • avoid caffeine – a diuretic which will dehydrate you even more (this includes tea!)
  • lose weight
  • become a woman (men are twice as likely to suffer from kidney stones)
  • exercise regurlay
  • eat lemons (or lemon juice) and other fruits high in citric acid
  • drink apple cider vinegar

How to alleviate kidney stone pain

  • take pain killers
  • drink plenty of water to flush your system
  • don’t consume alcohol
  • rest

Download my free hydration chart and put it in your bathroom (including at work) to make sure you stay well hydrated and avoid kidney stones.