Tuesday, December 05, 2006

NHS Come Dancing.

Oh bloody hell. It now seems the porkers of Britain will be able to get dance lessons on the NHS. After spending £2.5 million on ‘Local Exercise Action Pilot’ schemes, this sort of crap is what our Public Health Minister Caroline Flint has come up with. Well, excuse me, people are porky because they eat too much of the wrong food and don’t exercise enough. You didn’t need to spend £2.5 million to find that out or to find out what couch potatoes need to do to be more healthy. And spending money on giving these people dance lessons when others are dying in this country because there isn’t enough money to pay for the drugs they need (though of course this doesn’t apply to Scotland and Wales) is a travesty!

8 comments:

Mark Croucher said...

No Neal I think you have missed it. The future is clear to me now.

What we will have is terminally or critically ill patients dancing on Saturday night primetime tv. As an incentive they will also add in the equal amount of fat bastards for competition. Then while the masses watch, to the victor the spoils. Life saving medicine for the sick, nothing for the fatties, after all they need the exercise.

If it's on the BBC though we will be paying for it with our licence fee. We need one of the commercial channels to pick it up. They could call it "Sickly Ballroom" or similar.

Max Kaehn said...

The policy I'd like to see passed is a requirement that government cash be spent on low-hanging fruit first. If the most efficient way to purchase person-years of healthy life is food and vaccinations for the poor, that gets priority over dance lessons and expensive cancer treatments. If someone wants to raid the pork barrel, they have to support the more efficient policies first. (Is "pork barrel" a purely American term?)

Anonymous said...

Max

Are you seriously considering dance lessons and cancer treatment as the same type of 'expensive' treatment?

Have you ever watched someone close to you with cancer die?

If you had spent your entire life paying tax and national insurance contributions (think HMO payments)and worked hard, dont you think that you'd have a right for an expensive treatment that might save your life?

Would that be raiding a pork barrel?

Tony

Neal Asher said...

Mark, when I saw the bit about this on GMTV, I could see that the doctor they get in was angry about the waste of funds and the nannying. His opinion was that, well, there's some things people should do themselves. Defending the scheme was someone with a title something like 'Dance Activities Coordination Manager' or some such bollocks. Yeah, another one of those bullshit jobs advertized in the Guardian at 20-40 grand a year. This isn't about making people healthy; it's about more jobs for the growing army of bureaucrats who, in their gratitude, will carry on voting Labour.

Max, I too wouldn't equate cancer with dance lessons, but then my dad is dying from it so my opinion might be biased. Then again, seeing the effect of cancer treatment on him and others, I do wonder if it sometimes goes to far...

Regarding low-hanging fruit. Cosmetic surgery and sex change operations should definitely come off the NHS when people are dying through lack of funds. A major hacking and slashing of the bureaucracy would be an even better idea.

Max Kaehn said...

The balance I'm looking at is: If a treatment that can give one adult an extra six months of healthy life costs the same as another treatment that could give 100 children an extra 10 years of healthy life each, which should receive public funds first? And yes, my wife had a rather interesting growth that had been pressing on her brain removed from her clivus a few years ago (an operation that wouldn't have even been possible when I met her), so I quite like modern medicine and having an HMO to pay for it (the bill was impressive). If we had public health in America, I'd prefer that it be funded up to the point that that level of treatment be available to anyone, not just someone who can afford an HMO-- and that that funding would arrive after that for universal basic pediatric care.

Neal Asher said...

Max, I guess the problem there is working out the equations which, with our present government, would take another couple of bureaucrats in each hospital sucking up funds better spend elsewhere. It's easy to work out if it's X life-saving treatment cost ten times Y life-saving treatment, but it ain't that easy. Usually it's X life-saving treatment costs ten times Y treatment which might save one life out of a hundred and will improve the life of sixty out of a hundred, maybe. How do you work that sort of thing out?

Max Kaehn said...

I'd start by borrowing some actuaries from the insurance industry; they've had a lot of incentive to learn to quantify things that would leave me puzzled on where to start. You have a good point with the uncertainty-- anyone working on a "low-hanging fruit" policy should keep the error bars in mind.

Joe said...

You're right, mate, it doesn't apply to Scotland, where we have long worked off the deep fried haggis by indulging in Scottish Country Dancing. And since this involves dancing upon two very sharp broadswords it teaches poise and concentration too. Hell of a way to cut your toenails though.