Not Saussure

January 7, 2007

Is this man in the pay of BUPA?

Filed under: Medicine — notsaussure @ 3:32 am

You live and learn. I never thought anyone would be able to turn me against the NHS, but Dr Tim Crayford, president of the Association of Director of Public Health, might just manage it:

“When the NHS is not spending money on really important public health measures but spending it on what people want, then this is a debate we should have.”

Dr Crayford also

questioned why a hysterectomy costing £2,800 is sometimes carried out to prevent heavy menstrual bleeding when a coil costing £100 can do the same thing without surgery.

I think I can assist him there; it’s probably because they suffer, as did my late wife before she had an hysterectomy (paid for by her private health insurance) , from severe endometriosis. Her gynecologist didn’t suggest it until they’d tried all other treatments, including a laparotomy, but the pre-cancerous growths it was causing eventually persuaded them that there was no alternative. Even then they were were dubious about performing it on a woman in her late 30s but the fact that previous surgery had left her with little chance of ever conceiving, let alone bearing a child to term, plus the fact that on one occasion ‘heavy menstual bleeding’, as Dr Crayford puts it, meant collapsing in the middle of Knightsbridge and being taken to hospital by paramedics who thought she must be miscarrying, pursuaded the doctors that there was little alternative.

The idea that when it’s so severe that radical surgery is contemplated the symptoms be perhaps be controlled by fitting a coil is about as sensible as suggesting Lemsip as a suitable treatment for pneumonia.

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  1. I’d be interested to know if this man is a medical dr or a Ph.D in economics.
    How utterly ridiculous to suggest that any woman would consent to a hysterectomy if there were an alternative. And there are all sorts of problems with coils, anyway.
    I’m so sorry that you lost your wife, NS.

    Comment by Welshcakes Limoncello — January 7, 2007 @ 5:30 pm

  2. Thank you, Welshcakes. She died some years ago, but I still miss her dreadfully; I’m just glad for the time we had together.

    I hadn’t thought about what what Dr Crayford might be a doctor of, I must confess — certainly his remarks would make more sense if it’s economics or public administration! As you can probably tell, I was incensed by his remarks; as you say, it’s absurd to suggest that any woman would consent to an hysterectomy lightly. And, I think, it’s very unlikely it would lightly be suggested. Endometriosis is a very difficult condition to diagnose, apparently, since its symptoms can take many different forms depending on where the vagrant cells from the Endometrium end up. And even after they did work was causing all the problems and after they’d exhausted all the other available treatments, including less radical surgery, they were still not at all enthusiastic about offering to a woman who was still fertile; the idea that selfish women demand, or would get, the operation to save themselves a bit of discomfort, at massive public expense, is just pure fantasy as far as I’m concerned.

    Comment by Not Saussure — January 7, 2007 @ 9:38 pm

  3. I am immediately unable to find out exactly what Dr Crayford is actually a doctor of, but I will make a note to find out how to check at work tomorrow; certainly not everyone involved in public health who is called “Dr” is in fact a doctor of medicine.

    Sadly this sort of attitude is common amongst both medical and non-medical doctors who reach high positions in PCTs. If they didn’t think like that, they wouldn’t get there.

    Comment by fridgemagnet — January 7, 2007 @ 10:48 pm

  4. He is a medical Dr., and actually trained in gynae. oncology!!! He has not been in clinical practice for many years. He analyses stats and generally sees patients as numbers rather than people.
    It is scary that he has a position of influence over such issues.

    Comment by Doodles — January 28, 2009 @ 1:15 am

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