Wednesday, May 25, 2016

NHS Strikes Back: BUPA & Health Insurers!


How the NHS can strike back!!!

1: Legislate that Insurers must pay for NHS treatment.
2: Offer Cappuccino/Green Tea if patients provide BUPA or other insurance details.
3: Patients will still be allowed to be paid by BUPA. Ha!


"In fact, to save money, government can buy insurance 

for 

the mental patients and the chronically ill."




 ©2016 Am Ang Zhang


BUPA is right now paying insured to use NHS!!!

The official letter from Bupa detailing the scheme is headlined: “Giving our members improved choice.”

The patient, speaking on condition of anonymity, said he was “shocked” to be encouraged to seek treatment on the NHS in exchange for money.

The letter said: “The payment you will receive depends on the cardiac treatment you need.

"Payments usually range from between £500 to £2,000.”

Operations can cost fives times more than the cash payments offered by Bupa. One procedure patients can pocket £2,000 for having on the NHS is for a pacemaker to be fitted.

BUPA raked in a staggering £2.57billion in revenue last year, and pocketed £139million in profit - up 26% on 2012.

Consultant oncologist Dr Clive Peedell, co-leader of the National Health Action party, accused Bupa of “cashing in on the NHS”.

He said: “It’s disgusting that a leading private healthcare company is paying patients to use the NHS.

“This is an outrageous example of how the private healthcare sector is happy to take patients’ money but then has to turn to the NHS when it realises it can’t afford to meet the high cost of treating patients privately.

“This underlines yet again that private healthcare is all about the money.”

Dr Peedell added: “It looks like Bupa have calculated that it’s cheaper for them to pay patients to use the NHS than fork out themselves for private treatment which would cost them thousands of pounds.

"They are effectively cashing in on the NHS.”


It must be very obvious that all the talk about medical cover for visitors to England never mention the need for health insurance.

Could this be because insurers have managed not to cover for everything. One need to ask the question on how one ever travel to the US where cost of medical care is extremely high.


There is of course the need to fully control Health Insurers for those that live in England if they want cover. 

Let people opt out of the NHS if it is so bad! But Insurers need to cover every thing. 

Citizens could be given a tax break and yet have the insurance policy incorporated into their NI/NHS number so that those with the tax break, the insurer will be charged for every kind of medical care they receive if they were within the NHS.


 ©2016 Am Ang Zhang


·                     Ends discrimination against people with pre-existing conditions.
·                     Limits premium spread to normal, high risk and healthy risk to say under 20% either way of normal.
·                     Limits premium discrimination based on gender and age.
·                     Prevents insurance companies from dropping coverage when people are sick and need it most.
·                     Caps out-of-pocket expenses so people don’t go broke when they get sick.
·                     Eliminates extra charges for preventive care.
·                     Contribute to an ABTA style cover.





We could legislate that Insurers will have to pay for any NHS treatment for those covered by them. It will stop Insurers “gaming” NHS hospitals. This will prevent them saving on costly dialysis and Intensive Care. Legislate for full disclosure of Insured status.

Insurers cannot drop coverage or treatment after a set period and even if they do they will still be charged if the patient is transferred to an NHS Hospital.

This will eliminate problems like PIP breast implants.

It will indeed encourage those that could afford it to buy insurance and in any case most firms offer insurance for their employees including the GMC.

To prevent gaming of Insurers by individual patients (I look after their interest too), the medical fee should be paid up front by the patient and then deduction taken from premiums. Corporate clients like those with the GMC should not be gaming Insurers.

Imagine the situation where those with “Personal Health Budgets ” being able to “buy” their own insurance!

In fact, to save money, government can buy insurance for the mental patients and the chronically ill.

This way there will be real choice and insurers will be competing with each other to provide the worst deal.

Why?

What Health Insurer will want the business?



Perhaps they will go back to the US and we will have our own NHS back.                                                                                  

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

NHS Hospitals: Old but Good???

Our NHS was founded on some old but good hospitals that were established in London many years ago.


© 2016 Am Ang Zhang


The Background:
Historically, London Medical Schools were established in the hospitals in the poorer areas in order that medical students could have enough cases to practice on and in return the poor patients had the advantages of free treatment. There is nothing like volume for medical training.

For a very long time, doctors trained in London were one of the most valued. A Senior Registrar (yes, in those days) can easily get a Consultant job anywhere else in the Commonwealth and often a Professorship (British styled ones). In other words London trained doctors are a highly exportable commodity.

“The shape of the London hospital system has also been affected by developments in medical science and medical education. In many ways it has been the activities of doctors which have determined the pattern of the hospitals. The increasing ability to treat disease and improved standards of care shortened the time patients spent in hospital, raised the demand for services and led to an escalation of cost. The development of specialisation led first to the development of the special hospitals and later to special departments within the general hospitals. Advances in bacteriology, biochemistry, physiology and radiology cre­ated the need for laboratory accommodation and service departments, so that hospitals no longer consisted merely of an operating theatre and a series of wards. Sub-specialisation ultimately meant that services had to be organised on a regional basis and the very reputation of the capital’s doctors affected the number of patients to be seen. The hospitals of central London have long served a population much larger than their local residents.

It is against this complex background of population movement, poor social conditions, disease, wealth and poverty, professional expertise, critical comment and publicity that the London hospitals developed. A complex institutional pattern emerged. Voluntary hospitals grew up beside the ancient royal and endowed hospitals. A local government service providing institutional care for sick paupers developed alongside the hospitals. A network of fever hospitals, scientifically planned from the outset, was established. Physically near to each other, staffed by doctors who had trained in the same hospitals, and often serving the same people, the different objectives and status of the institutions led them to work in virtual isolation from each other. Each hospital had its own traditions and nobody standing in the middle of a ward could have doubted for a moment the type of hospital he was in. Countless details gave each an atmosphere of its own, and the different methods of administration and levels of staffing set them apart.”                  Geoffrey Rivett


© 2016 Am Ang Zhang


Most of my Medical School Orthopaedic Surgeons were trained here.

The hospital treats almost 10,000 patients a year.

Although most patients would not consider travelling too far for a routine hip replacement, which can probably be done as well in their local district general hospital, the specialist clinics at the Royal National Orthopaedic may provide a reason to make the journey.

Specialist clinics deal with bone tumours, scoliosis (curvature of the spine), rheumatology, spinal injuries, specialist hand and shoulder conditions and sports injuries.


National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery

 © 2016 Am Ang Zhang




The Cockroach Catcher was there.

So was the MP, as a patient.

If you have a head injury, stroke or condition affecting the brain, such as Alzheimer's, epilepsy or multiple sclerosis, this is the place to go. Along with the nearby Institute of Neurology, it is major international centre for treatment, research and training. The National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery has 200 beds at its central London site near Euston station, and treated more than 4,500 in-patients and 54,000 outpatients last year.


Perhaps not for sale so soon. Or saving it for the needy MPs?

Neurologists wear bow ties in my days.

Royal Brompton & Harefield NHS Trust
© 2016 Am Ang Zhang


The largest specialist heart and lung centre in the UK, the Royal Brompton and Harefield acquired its reputation through the work of Sir Magdi Yacoub, the internationally renowned surgeon who pioneered heart transplants in theUK the 1980s.

The trust attracts staff and patients from across the country and around the globe, and is a centre for research with between 500 and 600 papers published in scientific journals each year. Its 10 research programmes each received the highest rating in 2006.

Each year, surgeons perform 2,400 coronary angioplasties (where a balloon is threaded through an incision in the groin to the heart and expanded to widen a blocked artery), 1,200 coronary bypasses and 2,000 treatments for respiratory failure – so they do not lack for experience.

Other specialist heart units with strong reputations are Papworth Hospital, Huntingdon, where Britain's first successful heart transplant was carried out in 1979; and the Cardiothoracic Centre, Liverpool, formed in 1991.




The Royal Marsden NHS Trust
© 2016 Am Ang Zhang

The first dedicated cancer hospital in the world, founded in 1851, is still the best. With the Institute of Cancer Research, the Royal Marsden is the largest comprehensive cancer centre in Europe, seeing more than 40,000 patients from the UK and abroad each year.

It has the highest income from private patients of any hospital in Britain, testifying to its international reputation.

Very ready for Medical Tourism!!!

© 2016 Am Ang Zhang



The country's largest ear, nose and throat hospital is also Europe's centre for audiological research, with an international reputation for its expertise and range of specialties, all on one site on London's Gray's Inn Road.

Its services range from minor procedures such as inserting grommets (tiny valves placed in the eardrum of a child to drain fluid from the middle ear) to major head and neck surgery. A quarter of its 60,000 patients were referred from other parts of the UK and abroad last year. The hospital has a cochlear implant programme, a snoring and sleep disorder clinic, and a voice clinic, the oldest and largest in the UK. One in 25 people develops voice problems such as hoarseness, but it rises to one in five among, for example, teachers, actors and barristers.

A measure of the Royal National's success is the fact that one third of patients referred from other clinics or hospitals with voice problems has their diagnosis changed on investigation there. Although there are many other centres where throat, nose and ear problems can be treated, none are pre-eminent enough to be included in this guide.

Wow!
© 2016 Am Ang Zhang

Britain's leading national and international referral centre for diseases of the bowel is the only hospital in the UK and one of only 14 worldwide to be recognised as a centre of excellence by the World Organisation of Digestive Endoscopy.

It is a chosen site for the NHS bowel-cancer screening programme being rolled out across the country, which seeks to detect and treat changes in the bowel before cancer develops. Bowel cancer is the second most common cause of cancer in the UK but often goes undetected because sufferers can fail to report important symptoms, such as blood in the faeces, often out of embarrassment.

Bowel cancer can be treated via colonoscopy, to find and remove polyps – growths on the wall of the bowel. The hospital's education programme attracts clinicians from across the UK and overseas with the aim of spreading good practice elsewhere.
The hospital is part of the North West London Hospitals Trust.


The liver unit at King's is the largest in the world. It is one of 31 specialist liver units in the UK, but none can match it for expertise, facilities or state of the art equipment. It offers investigation and treatment for all types of acute and chronic liver disease, which is increasing in the UK.

The unit performs 200 liver transplants a year, and more than 200 patients with liver failure are admitted to its intensive care unit each year.

King's carried out the first successful transplantation of islet cells – part of the pancreas involved in producing insulin – in a Type 1 diabetic, greatly reducing his need for injected insulin. Last month, the Department of Health announced plans to establish six new islet transplantation centres round the country, based on the research at King's.



The Maudsley Hospital
© 2016 Am Ang Zhang


The Cockroach Catcher was there too.

One of Britain's oldest hospitals, the Maudsley's contribution to mental-health care stretches back at least 760 years.

Today it is a centre of excellence for the delivery mental-health care. Its addictions centre offers new treatments for drug abuse, alcoholism, eating disorders and smoking, it provides innovative care for disturbed children and adolescents and is the largest mental-health training institute in the country.

It has pioneered new approaches to the treatment of heroin addiction and its specialists have raised concerns over the link between cannabis and schizophrenia which have led the Government to review changes to the law.


© 2016 Am Ang Zhang



If you have a child with a rare or complicated disorder, this is the place to come.

And they do and many are from the Middle East.

So the bad press would not matter, good for the Medical Tourist trade.

It is the largest centre for research into childhood illness outside the US, the largest centre for children's cancer in Europe and delivers the widest range of specialist care of any children's hospital in the UK.

Great Ormond Street won't treat just any patient, though: it only accepts specialist referrals from other hospitals and community services – in order to ensure it receives the rare and complex cases and not the routine.

I have done that: see Teratoma: An Extract


Paediatrics is one of the most rewarding areas of medicine for doctors because it has seen some of the most spectacular advances over the past 30 years, especially in cancer, where survival has improved dramatically.

Many of those cared for at GOSH still have life-threatening conditions but they are promised the best care both because of the expertise of its medical staff and because of the trust's extraordinary success in attracting charitable donations, which have made it among the best-funded medical institutions in the country.



Baby P or no Baby P.

Moorfields Eye Hospital
© 2016 Am Ang Zhang


My eyes still well up when Moorfields is mentioned. Honest.

The largest specialist eye hospital in the country and one of the largest in the world, Moorfields was founded in 1805. It treats more patients than any other eye hospital or clinic in the UK and more than half the ophthalmologists practising in the UK have received specialist training at Moorfields.

However, in recent years the hospital has relied too heavily on its reputation and grown complacent. Though standards of academic excellence are still high, it has neglected the services it offers to patients, which were rated weak on quality by the Healthcare Commission in its annual health check last year.

The hospital carried out 23,000 ophthalmic operations last year, providing surgeons with extensive experience on which to hone their skills. The reputation of the trust is such that it has started to run clinics in distant hospitals, capitalising on its brand. The hospital employs 1,300 staff who work on 13 sites.

Perhaps it is not so good to be following on commercial branding. Stick to medicine!!!

Despite its recent problems, Moorfields remains Britain's most highly-regarded eye treatment centre. No alternative hospitals have a comparable reputation.

For bargain hunters then.


Material drawn from The Independent.


So do you really think that hospitals are not necessary, or not necessary for the average citizen of England. Soon they will be sold and it will be costly to buy them back.

What about medical training? If these hospitals are sold, who pays?

And watch out, someone, your parent, your spouse, your child and even your MP may need a Hospital Consultant one day. 

Say something now.


Cassius:
"The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars,
But in ourselves."
Julius Caesar (I, ii, 140-141)

Sunday, April 24, 2016

NHS & Junior Doctors: Please don't cry!


The pride of the Commonwealth and beyond: Most of us from Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand were trained here. London was where it happened. Looks like the top heavy micromanagement and central policy is turning it into something, well much inferior to that of the old commonwealth countries. But is this part of the plot to sell off this national asset in order for a few to make money? Only time will tell. 

Most doctors and nurses I have worked with used to love their NHS and gives more time than they were ever paid to do so. To destroy such un-contracted dedication is plain stupid and when management decides to start counting, medical staff will as well. 

Junior Doctor dispute has escalated to a Strike that was the first in as many as 40 years. Many of this generation of bright young things had high hopes when they entered medicine and many are now emigrating. This included a Tory MP’s (Dr Sarah Wollaston)doctor daughter, her husband and 8 other doctors. 

What is strange is that hospital where she went to, the whole Casualty department was staffed by doctors not trained in Australia.Perhaps they are now with this doctor:

© Am Ang Zhang 2013   

I awoke last week to a social media furore from friends and colleagues in the UK.


A consensus of anger and outrage reigned. And repeatedly I saw #juniorcontract. 


A few clicks later and I too was erupting.

The new non-negotiable contract means doctors will receive a pay cut of up to 40%. This will force many to leave the profession or seek work abroad to service their student debts and mortgage commitments. With the NHS already facing crippling staff shortages, patient care will be further compromised and the privatisation of our health service becomes inevitable.

 

 

If she returns will she be the last Junior Doctor?


It is a common practice for politicians to ignore professional advice. Sometimes they might get away with it; sometimes it led to failure, gross failure as in the case of the French attempt at building the Panama Canal.

So, please don’t cry!
© Am Ang Zhang 2012

Lith Style Photographic work.