I have thought a lot over the last few days and the more I think about the more I want to restructure the care of the chronically ill by the NHS. I can’t talk at all for other medical system but my idea could work anywhere I guess. There is one major issue with our care and that is the damage that is done to us by just making a visit to a hospital or to a surgery. We are locked into the now old fashioned routine that we have to be seen face to face with the doctor we are consulting with and I can see no reason why that has to be. Unless a doctor needs to actually examine you I don’t understand why a consultation can’t be done by skype.
Think back say the last 10 times you have been to see a doctor, any doctor, how many of those 10 times did you wasted time and money traveling to see them and they didn’t lay even one figure on you, you told them what was wrong and they wrote a prescription or referred you on, or worse still smiled and said right I will see you in a year, after you having sat in the waiting room for over an hour. The result of that visit if you have a chronic illness is always, regardless of what was said, you are exhausted and take days for the physical effects, your health dips, the opposite of what I hope all doctors want to achieve. Isn’t it about time that they all entered the 21st century and were the patient has a web cam, which I am guessing the majority do these days, that all consultations are completed on line, should an examination be required it could then be arranged for a trip to their clinic. I expect though that at least 90% wouldn’t have to see anyone. I also expect that the result would be a savings for the Doctors on the time it takes to do there clinics as well and saving costs as well.
I know I would be happy myself to never attend a hospital ever again and a few minutes on line would be perfect. From the point of the NHS I bet that the waiting list would go down as more people could be spoken to daily than it is possible to see face to face, not to mention less transport cost as well. I have heard of a similar system being used for those who live in remote locations, why then can’t it be done for those who also have problems with mobility and health that reacts badly to exertion also be treated in the same way. For years now I have managed to more than cope with not seeing my GP, but just talking to him on the phone, why should it be any different when it comes to hospital consultants. First visits I can see that yes a doctor would want you to be there, as it is normal for some sort of examination, but for follow ups it is a case of normally talking and talking only. The consultant themselves could suggest a phone or skype follow up instead of a clinic visit, so they would be setting it up with those they feel would benefit from it. I am sure that the cost of transporting one patient to the hospital for one visit, would cover the cost of one web cam, the savings would be from then on.
The world is changing, the technology is there and is cheap, and the health benefits I think would also be huge. I was at the hospital on Friday, it is now Monday and I am still not completely back to how I was, but if my consultation had been on web cam, well I would now be fine. I see nothing but a win win situation and I can’t understand why it isn’t happening now.