At Healthy Life Essex, we are passionate about encouraging people to take responsibility for their health and wellbeing. We all know that a better diet, more exercise, fresh air, arts and music, and interesting hobbies can all make a positive difference. Many quite serious illnesses can be reversed simply by taking such actions. And, of course, there are a range of complementary therapies and health foods and supplements that can also be immensely beneficial. (Check out our directories for more information.)
But let’s be absolutely clear. However much we look after ourselves and our families, there may be times when we really do need to see a doctor, and we really do need to be referred to a specialist. We know the NHS is struggling, but invariably if there are signs that further investigation is required, the sooner those investigations take place the better. Serious problems don’t generally just go away of their own accord: they generally get worse. And if illnesses get worse, the patient will need increased treatment. Or worse, they could be at risk of permanent disability or even death.
So how can it EVER be justified for a doctor to be offered cash incentives NOT to refer patients to hospitals and specialists for further treatment? Surely, a doctor should ALWAYS base that decision purely on his assessment of a patient’s needs rather than any sort of external pressures. Of course, they shouldn’t refer without due consideration, even if that is what the patient asks for; the decision should be based purely on their expertise, experience and knowledge of their patient. That is surely what a good doctor does?
But there is a move to put the aforementioned financial incentives in place. Please sign this petition as soon as possible, and share with as many people as you can, to avert this damaging scheme spreading across England.