Sick With Bureaucracy

Sunday, August 9, 2009
Posted in category Health Tyranny

Carol Gould on the British National Health Service’s outrageous swine flu strategy.

So this brings me to the government’s pandemic flu strategy. In the popular Evening Standard newspaper’s August 3 edition, there is a full two-page spread advising the public on how to deal with symptoms. We are told we must designate a “flu buddy” — oops, in England this is called a “flu friend.” We are instructed to initiate a complicated string of processes once ill. (Have you, dear reader, ever had really bad flu? Ever felt as if you will die and can barely stagger to the bathroom, only to fall over from fever, the shakes, and delirium?)

This ludicrous ad, which I calculate must have cost the NHS about $400,000, (a tabloid quarter page averages £80,000) tells flu sufferers to stay away from the doctors’ offices and call a helpline. You are then put through a series of questions about your condition, temperature, medical history, current health issues, and symptoms. You will be asked for your address and postcode. If you are not unconscious by the time this is over, you are then — wait for it — given an “authorization number.” Incidentally, the person “assessing” your qualification for a “flu authorization number” is one of two thousand folks recently picked from a motley queue of the unemployed who, from what we television-watchers could establish from the interviews given, are largely medically unqualified call center staff.

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