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GP's to Blame for Britain's Worse Cancer Record than Eastern Block Countries

Politics / NHS Aug 21, 2007 - 01:59 AM GMT

By: N_Walayat

Politics An in depth study by Euro care into cancer treatment across Europe reveals that despite Britain spending a record amount on cancer treatment, it fails abysmally coming in below many former eastern block countries that spend as little as one third that of the UK on cancer treatment.

The blame is squarely pointed at late diagnoses. Basically this means that a significant number of GP's are failing to perform proper diagnoses and in referring patients to hospitals to investigate complaints properly/. Instead competent diagnoses in many, many cases is delayed until to such a late stage, that it is basically too late for the patient. In fact some GP's never perform a competent diagnoses, it being left to patients being taken to the hospital on the concern of patient families and diagnoses taking place and referral from hospitals to cancer treatment hospitals

Why are GP's & Hospitals Failing to Perform Competent Early Diagnoses ?

* GP's to meet targets under incompetent government payment contracts, where the aim is to get patients out of the door as quickly as possible so as to up the numbers, therefore the simplest diagnoses and complaints are usually addressed with the anything more complex is left until much later, and as we can see which is invariably left too late hence the poor cancer diagnoses statistics.

* A more than tripling in GP salaries under New labour has led to GP's spending less time in surgery, hence the difficulty in obtaining appointments as GP's seek more time to enjoy their new found wealth.

Now not all GP's are indifferent or incompetent, but there is significant minority that tend to congregate in the cancer black spots, usually in poorer areas of the country, where the usual patient is not as vocal or insistent on competent healthcare as their richer more educated middle class counterparts. The consequences of which is that many ordinary patients are receiving near third world quality of diagnoses despite UK tax payers paying first world money! As evident by the poor cancer survival rates in the UK.

It is invariably impossible to make GP's properly accountable under the current system as was evident with Dr Shipman who got away with murdering over 200 patients over many years. Unfortunately delaying competent patient diagnoses to the point where the patient has no hope for survival does not even warrant serious criticism, let alone holding the doctors to account for what are in effect either negligent or deliberate misdiagnoses.

The only solution is make the GP system accountable to the patients that they portend to serve. Instead across the British TV channels today, smooth talking doctors where again on the offensive blaming the government for their own failures to perform competent timely diagnoses and referral of cancer patients to hospitals for further investigation. Similarly delays in hospitals compound the problem. But to hear NHS spokespersons and GP's responses you would think that there was nothing wrong, totally ignoring the findings of the report. Which is a symptom of the cancer that afflicts the NHS that ignores the patient whilst focusing on the million plus who continue to ride the NHS gravy train.

Until the system fundamentally changed in the favour of patients, then throwing countless more billions is only going to end up in the pockets of the same doctors who will take the money and seek to spend even less time in the GP surgeries whilst the golf green's beckon.

The only conclusion is that there is an ongoing abysmal failure of the treatment of not only cancer patients, but patient symptoms generally, starting right from GP surgeries onwards, this despite a tripling in the NHS budget!

By Nadeem Walayat
(c) 2005-07. All rights reserved.

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21 Aug 07, 15:25
GPs and Cancer

Your absolutely right!

My GP ignored my symptons for over 6 months as a consquence of which I have a short time to live with the fact that .................................

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