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Putting the ‘social’ in socialised medicine

The NHS is trialling group consultations. Instead of seeing your doctor one-on-one, up to 15 people will be seen all at the same time. One’s experience of medicine (or rather, ten or fifteen’s experience of it) will certainly be more social under these plans – especially as these group consultations will apparently include such issues as erectile disfunction. This should help achieve the old marxist aim of ‘abolishing the private sphere of life’.

As usual, however, socialism’s compassionate attempt to provide

a “fun and efficient” way to carry out consultations with patients who shared the same conditions

is being resisted by some old-fashioned reactionaries who claim to feel

“incredibly uncomfortable” discussing personal matters with large groups of strangers

overlooking the fact that, since the average NHS GP serves a specific contiguous area, such groups will not always be of strangers – they may often include neighbours and acquaintances.

17 comments to Putting the ‘social’ in socialised medicine

  • Thomas

    Death panels — sorry, NICE panels — seen nodding and taking notes.

  • George Atkisson

    Show of hands! Who has a suspected STD? Genital warts? Diarrhea? Pregnant? Thank you, here’s your number, wait your group’s turn.

  • Mr Ed

    But, but the European Convention on Human Rights guarantees my right to a private and family life, and the General Data Protection Regulation ensures the privacy of my special category personal (medical) data and its processing…

    It’s almost as if they don’t care, and all these rights are just sticks to beat us with….

    And wholly OT, here’s a song for Chuck Schemer and DiFi and friends, the Bobby Fuller Four’s epic version of ‘I fought the Law‘. Those dancing girls don’t have real guns, honest.

  • bobby b

    If my doctor visit with fourteen co-patients results in a bill that is one-fifteenth of the usual rate, then it might be worthwhile, but I doubt that’s part of the plan.

  • Natalie Solent (Essex)

    I’m not opposed to this sort of thing in principle for more mundane and un-embarrassing ailments.

    What concerns me is that by definition those who are most shy about speaking in front of groups are least likely to raise an objection while this scheme is being trialled.

  • orthodoc

    “And whatsoever I shall see or hear in the course of my profession, as well as outside my profession in my intercourse with men, if it be what should not be published abroad, I will never divulge, holding such things to be holy secrets.”

    Some old dead white guy wrote that. Stupid bastard. Get with the program, dude.

  • Julie near Chicago

    In the case of “intimate matters” involving reproduction or malfunction of the apparatus used to do it, that’s already been done. They call it “Group Therapy.”

    No. No, No, NO! Whether I’m getting my regular checkup or being seen for a fracture or for an informed opinion on the status and probable course of my lung disease, I want one-on-one consultations with my actual doctor. I really don’t feel all that interchangeable with other people who have what is basically the same problem. I mean, what if my fracture is actually a case of the ball’s having come partly out of the socket, whereas yours is a fracture in the left big toe bone?

    Give me a break!



    “Trialling”? Um, isn’t “trial” the noun form of the verb “to try” when used to mean “to test”?

    So, “We are trying a method of seeing patients in groups” or “We are running a trial in which we see bunches of patients together.” *grin, friendly poke in the ribs*

  • Mr Black

    Don’t worry, I’m sure this only applies to poor people. Those of means would never be asked to suffer the indignity of a group medical consultation.

  • Eric

    It might not be bad, depending on how they do it. When I went to have my age 50 scoping, my gastroenterologist gave a little lecture about the procedure – what he was going to do exactly, the risks, the benefits, etc to a dozen of us so he wouldn’t have to repeat himself. Then he saw each of us individually for questions and to go over our medical history. It all seemed pretty reasonable to me.

  • Rob

    Don’t worry, people will have to sign forms telling them to “respect confidentiality”, so there’s nothing to worry about there.

    “Rachel Power, chief executive of the Patients Association, said shared sessions might benefit some patients, but that people must not be denied the right to individual appointments.”

    Good heavens, of course they won’t! They’ll be offered an individual appointment, but “unfortunately Sir the first one available is in five weeks time. We can fit you in to Gossip Hour tomorrow morning though, if you wish.”

    Then, a few years into the future, they can start charging for individual appointments as a “premium service”, and only vile Tory haters of the NHS will point out that the premium service is identical to the one everyone got for free a few years previously.

    Anyway, envy of the world and all that.

  • Schrodinger's Dog

    Could defenders of the NHS please explain to me how this is happening? The last Labour government hosed money at it. During Labour’s term in office, spending on the NHS doubled in real terms and, since the Conservatives came to power, it has been exempt from any spending cuts. So why doesn’t Britain have a truly world-class healthcare system?

  • Julie near Chicago (October 6, 2018 at 11:42 pm), you are right about ‘try’ and ‘trial’. I plead guilty to reproducing the kind of English used by the NHS bureaucrats who proposed this in my deadpan (or do I mean ‘bedpan’?) description of it.

  • Julie near Chicago

    Oh well, Niall, everybody knows we Tea-Party types are sensayumarically-challenged. Poisonally, I gots no sensayuma whatsoever.

    But as usual, youse is da man! 😆

    P.S. Although I do somewhat wonder about your use of the word “English” to refer to the patois, or argot, spoken by the linguistic vandals of whom you speak. :>)))

  • please explain to me how this is happening? … During Labour’s term in office, spending on the NHS doubled in real terms … since the Conservatives came to power, it has been exempt from any spending cuts (Schrodinger’s Dog, October 7, 2018 at 12:26 pm)

    Labour’s doubling the cost of the NHS while making it function less well is part of the problem. Natalie wrote a post three years ago on how Labour did that. More recently, Cameron and May seem to have been too busy maintaining other things – Labour’s hate speech laws, for example – to make much difference to the NHS.

  • Derek Buxton

    Oh so very true Niall. It is just unfortunate that we have a dumb PM and a failed Parliament and politicians. None of which are capable of performing their duties to the People!

  • staghounds

    It’s almost as though the doctors work for the government rather than the patients!

  • Paul Marks

    This is indeed totally sick – no pun intended.