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NHS GP's Ignore Men's Health Resulting in 100,000 Premature Deaths Per Year

Local / NHS Nov 04, 2010 - 02:38 AM GMT

By: N_Walayat

Local

Best Financial Markets Analysis ArticleThe Men's Health Forum, a charity aimed at targeting the inequalities in NHS delivery that results in 1/5th of men dieing before they reach the age of 65 as against 13% of women, has launched a campaign called "Lives to Short" to highlight the discrimination in the delivery of UK health services that effectively puts off men from seeking help due to their natural tendency towards reluctance to make a fuss.


Unlike women, men tend to be easily put off by all of the hindrances put in the way of patients seeking competent diagnoses right from inability to easily make appointments to the short GP consultations, where NHS GP's for several initial consultations have the tendency to ignore patient symptoms which means as men are more reluctant to push for a more competent consultation, results in delayed treatment and far earlier deaths that are totally preventable if the NHS GP's and consultants performed their jobs more competently.

Representatives of the Men's Health Forum highlighted some of the key differences between the way men approach seeking medical consultations and treatment compared against women.

“Health more naturally becomes a women’s issue and men don’t like to be seen as vulnerable in front of a GP or they don’t like taking part in what they see as an embarrassing process.

“Men also say they often feel like they are wasting the GP’s time.

“We need men to act on signs and changes in their health and not leave it until they are in crippling pain."

Key statistics include:

  • 22% of men in England and Wales die before the age of 65 (compared to 13% of women)
  • 42% die before 75 (compared to 26% of women)
  • 76% of people who kill themselves are men
  • men are 70% more likely to get a cancer that affects both men and women

The Men’s Health Forum is now calling for action in five keys areas to:

  • Tackle men’s mental health problems
  • Get more men physically active
  • Address men’s high cancer rates
  • Improve men’s use of primary health services
  • Involve more workplaces in men’s health and wellbeing.

Health organisations and those working with men are called on to sign the Lives Too Short Pledge on the MHF website.

Blockages to the NHS at GP Surgeries

Actual patient experience rarely matches official NHS statistics that tend to paint a picture of uniform good performance. However the Department of Health funded UK Patient GP Survey enables patients to find the truth out about their GP Surgery as per real patient experience. The UK GP Patient Survey 2009-10 recently released results of more than 5.5 million detailed questionnaires sent out to NHS GP patients across England of which 2.17 million were returned. Patients can check the true performance of their surgeries here - http://results.gp-patient.co.uk/report/main.aspx

As an example of real performance of NHS GP Surgeries, the following are the Survey results for a local GP surgery - Darnall Community Health (Sheffield).

%
Overall Level of Satisfaction at the Quality of Healthcare received 68%
Helpfulness of receptionist - Helpful total % 75%
Ease of getting through on the phone - % Easy 21%
Able to see a doctor fairly quickly 41%
Doctor or nurse ever tell you that you had a 'care plan'? - % Yes 14%
Ease of contacting the out-of-hours GP service by telephone - % Yes 62%
Recommending GP surgery to someone who has moved to the local area - % Yes 47%
Satisfaction with opening hours - Satisfied % 62%
Last seen a doctor - % More than 6 months ago 28%

 

The results illustrate the disparity between official NHS statistics and actual patient experience, as virtually 1/3rd of the patients of the GP surgery are dissatisfied at the quality of healthcare received. Furthermore only 21% find it easy to get through on the phone, which means that many patients and especially men will have given up on trying to make an appointment because they are unable to even get through on the phone, which explains why official statistics may be missing out on 79% of patients, many of whom won't be seen by the GP and hence will not factor into official statistics as generated by PCT's. Which also goes a long way towards explaining why 28% of patients have not seen a GP during the past 6 months.

If Darnall Community Health is even half way typical of most NHS GP surgeries then that would imply that 10 million patients are dissatisfied at the quality of health care received, and as many as 30 million patients have difficulty in arranging appointments by phone, with similarly 30 million patients unable to see a doctor fairly quickly, and again 30 million would not recommend their NHS GP to anyone moving into the area, where there exists a natural bias against men of 70% in the statistics mentioned.

Therefore not only does the NHS budget remain out of control at £120 billion per year but actual patient experience and especially that of men does NOT match what amounts to NHS propaganda, the reality for many millions of patients is that the NHS effectively does not even exist as they have long since given up on even attempting to gain competent diagnoses and effective treatment.

As mentioned earlier, you can check the real patient experience of your GP surgery here - http://results.gp-patient.co.uk/report/main.aspx.

The NHS Health Credit Card

Reform of the whole NHS health care system from diagnosis to treatment of all patients is urgently required. An important element would be to place the power to purchase healthcare into the hands of the patients by means of an NHS Health Credit Card system, that enables patients to purchase health services from any GP practice or hospital regardless of whether it falls under the NHS umbrella or is fully private, so that both patients and health practitioners would be fully aware of the financial transaction involved in the purchase of the health service, which is set against the current system where especially men are made to feel that they may be wasting the GP's time so are easily put off by the practiced dismissive attitude of most GP's towards initial consultations, which men tend to take as signal not to return until their condition has reached a far more critical state.

Patients would have a choice of covered core treatments for illnesses or injuries, where they would have the option of paying to top up treatments with their own money depending on the institution that they seek to purchase treatment from, or for other extra's including IVF etc. This would have the effect of reducing the cost of the NHS whilst introducing greater efficiency into the NHS as the majority of patients would only choose those health service institutions that are ranked as delivering a good service. The NHS Health credit card would revolutionise the way healthcare is delivered in the UK, much as supermarkets revolutionised food delivery and choice during the 1980's, as heath supermarkets would spring up all across the country that would maximise efficiency and standardise quality of service delivery as they competed to offer a wider range of health services than anything a bureaucratic top down health care system could ever hope to provide.

The health care credit card system could be further enhanced by workers directly contributing to their health care plans that they can claim upon to purchase 'extra' services at a later date, much as workers today contribute into private pension schemes.

The impact of this would be to greatly REDUCE the cost to taxpayers whilst at the same time delivering better health services, a win, win outcome for the people of Britain as opposed the current system of an out of control unproductive £120 billion National Health Service that attempts to mask failure to deliver with phony statistics and propaganda of a "free for all service" that does not match real patient experience.

Comments and Source : http://www.marketoracle.co.uk/Article24010.html

By Nadeem Walayat

http://www.marketoracle.co.uk

Copyright © 2005-10 Marketoracle.co.uk (Market Oracle Ltd). All rights reserved.

Nadeem Walayat has over 20 years experience of trading derivatives, portfolio management and analysing the financial markets, including one of few who both anticipated and Beat the 1987 Crash. Nadeem's forward looking analysis specialises on UK inflation, economy, interest rates and the housing market and he is the author of the NEW Inflation Mega-Trend ebook that can be downloaded for Free. Nadeem is the Editor of The Market Oracle, a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication. We present in-depth analysis from over 600 experienced analysts on a range of views of the probable direction of the financial markets. Thus enabling our readers to arrive at an informed opinion on future market direction. http://www.marketoracle.co.uk

Disclaimer: The above is a matter of opinion provided for general information purposes only and is not intended as investment advice. Information and analysis above are derived from sources and utilising methods believed to be reliable, but we cannot accept responsibility for any trading losses you may incur as a result of this analysis. Individuals should consult with their personal financial advisors before engaging in any trading activities.

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