2 years ago
Ever since talk of legislation in the 90’s, it has always been the aspiration of many civil engineering sectors to try and rationalise essential maintenance wherever possible to avoid the embarrassment caused when different utilities dig up the streets without first communicating with each other.
Say for example, the water board comes along, closes off a road, and repairs a leak. Then six weeks later the gas board come along to replace ageing pipes. Three months after that, the electricity company comes along and lays new cables. Effectively, each digs up the road and fills it in again. Traffic is permanently disrupted and the public generally lose faith in the body political.
The ideal, therefore, has to be some degree of forward planning. Where intentions get recorded, plans get laid out, and when the ideal opportunity arises, all these service providers chip in together. Costs are thereby substantially reduced, disruption is cut to a bare minimum, and general feelings of frustration are replaced with an all round sense of achievement for a job well done.
Well that was the theory anyway. Unfortunately this enlightened approach has still yet to be witnessed by many if not all, of the population.
And inspired through a recent stay in hospital I had, where I was bedded down beside another chap awaiting three different courses of surgery, I got to do some more of my radically dangerous thinking and came up with quite a brilliant idea:
Why couldn't the National Health Service work like that too?
Now I know what you’re all thinking, this time I really have lost my marbles. But please, just hear me out, I really think I’m onto something here.
OK, so this is the proposal:
So you're going in for an operation, you're to be receiving a general anaesthetic; so why not use that state of programmed unconsciousness to conduct anything else that is generally too unpleasant to be done at the same time, while you’re no longer in a woken state? They could even nominally charge for said other stuff to help cover the cost of the original treatment!
For example: a colonoscopy, let's see how the fundament is doing without having to embarrass you! Why not have an appendectomy too, after all you don't need it? Liposuction! Rhinoplasty! Dental work: you could finally have that route canal work done, or even have your teeth bleached.
And whilst you're at it, why not have a leg wax too? Or maybe get a tattoo? Think about it: you go in for a bypass as Pavarotti, and you come out like Mickey Rourke!
OK, that’s a bad analogy, and one that maybe needs some work; but the principle remains rock solid, and I truly think this one's going to be a winner.
But will the Department for Health & Social Security ever have the sense to push it through? Well that yet remains to be seen. But there’s plenty of mileage in it for saving money and it sure as Hell beats having to lay off even more already underpaid for what they do, nursing staff.
What do you think?
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