Health charities and government advisers say they have concerns about private medical screening to detect early signs of several diseases.
About 75,000 people in the UK have paid a US firm up to £150 for tests for conditions such as heart disease and strokes—often after getting letters.
Oh my goodness! They got letters? Quick, kill them all! Or something.
GPs say the letters are scaremongering and the tests are often unnecessary.
Hmmm. I might point out that it is surely up to individuals to decide whether or not they deem the tests necessary, no? It is up to the individual to decide whether they want to pay £150 for such a test, is it not?
Life Line Screening says it identifies risks and that NHS tests are only provided if patients display symptoms.
Well, this is entirely true. And I think that many people would like to know whether they are at risk of a stroke before they actually... you know... have a stroke.
Now, your humble Devil is no medico, but he does tend to think that people should make their own fucking decisions, rather than state-funded medicos doing it for them. In fact, as Ex-Pat Yank points out...
All told, the BBC report pulls together a remarkable alliance. Or, in other words, it rather boils down to this. According to that publicly funded TV channel, the “UK National Screening Committee” which is a government “advisory committee” housed within the government run health service, and charities that support that government “advisory committee’s” view, and GPs employed by that government run health service, all have serious reservations about private health screenings.
Is that a surprise?
Not really, no. Still the BBC does have the good grace to point out that those purchasing the services of Life Line Screening seem to be satisfied.
Customers spoken to by the BBC at a screenings said they were happy with the service, citing concerns over the length of time scans or tests can take on the NHS and the difficulty in obtaining appointments.
Naturally, the very next paragraph is...
But according to the body which advises the government on screening, the procedures offered by private companies such as Life Line Screening can be expensive, unnecessary and misleading.
The UK National Screening Committee says the NHS offers tests for osteoporosis, strokes and heart disease for free.
Fucking hell: how often must we say this—they are not "free". You have already paid for them and, as is entirely routine with the NHS, they will try their hardest to ensure that you either cannot get the scans, or that you do not get them until it is too fucking late.
Here's the beef: if these private screening companies are making false claims or anything similar, then they can be prosecuted under various Trading Acts: if they are not doing so, then might I suggest that the state and its employees—whose record on maintaining health is, to be frank, pretty fucking awful—shut the fuck up?
When you cunts have removed things such as C. difficile and MRSA (to pick just two examples) from our hospitals, then you might be able to pontificate. As Rod Liddle pointed out in the Guardian in 2003 and in The Spectator earlier this year, doctors have a pretty fucking special record.
Iatrogenesis accounts for the deaths of an estimated 72,000 British people every year — or slightly more than the combined numbers of those feckless people dying from smoking, drinking and being very fat. I suppose you could call it the silent killer; there are no government campaigns to educate the public about its lethality. When lists are published showing the top killer diseases it is never present, although it is the third most common cause of death.
The Chief Medical Officer, Sir Liam Donaldson, is not forever haranguing us about how we should avoid causes of iatrogenesis. I know of no medical pressure groups staffed by starch-shirted harridans screeching at us about the problem, nor taxes designed to prevent us from contracting it. And yet it is very easy to avoid iatrogenesis; all you need to do is never visit a hospital or a doctor, and indeed, if a doctor should approach you in a public place, then roll up your newspaper and swat him away, much as if he were a malarial mosquito, while holding your other hand tightly over your nose.
Iatrogenesis is the proper name for death by doctors. The latest figures I’ve seen, through the conduit of the Royal College of Physicians, is the one quoted above — a quite remarkable 72,000 deaths per year. Not all of them are the result of premeditated murder, of course; the overwhelming majority of victims are dispatched through pure incompetence or negligence. I am not sure if the figure includes those who die from infections generated in hospitals — my suspicion is, it does not. In which case you can add another 8,000 to the total, making a nice round figure of 80,000. Astonishing really, isn’t it?
And the vast, vast majority of that is "free" on the NHS. Aren't we lucky little serfs?
So, if people want to shell out £150 for private screenings (whatever their efficacy), I really think that the state health agencies should take a good look at themselves and...
... SHUT THE FUCK UP.