I know I’m ranting a lot lately – normal cricketing service shall resume shortly. But I must just get this off my (spluttering) chest. I’m watching Tim Henman, which often induces sporadic fits of frustration in me. Onwards…
I have a tendency to look a bit rough-and-ready at the best of times. Therefore, when I’m ill I closely resemble a homeless person. Incidentally, that’s probably politically incorrect. “A less homely person”? On a similar point, did you know “disabled” has all but been banned? Those lacking ability, or movement, are “less abled” which, from my time at the NHS, was met with guffaws by the dozen of so wheelchair-bound patients who I worked with on a daily basis).
Anyway, with a four-day beard and genuinely feeling like a dog, I marched into my local surgery. “Hello, would it be possible to see a Doctor? I think I’m about to die” weren’t my exact words, but it was plain as day that I was clearly not there to make up the numbers, or offer her a discount on a handmade cuckoo clock from Milton Keynes. Nor do I have a taste for ketamine or other bizarre drugs: I just need some antibiotics. Here’s what she said.
“We don’t have any doctors here today.”
WHAT? You’re a fucking surgery. Your signpost outside clearly states you are not only open now, at midday, but that you will be open until six. Open but Doctorless – welcome to (Old) Labour’s vision of how to reduce an ageing population: kill us all before we reach 65. How, then, can she help me?
“You can come back tomorrow. We should have a doctor then.”
Terrific. That’s just brilliant – just brilliant. My problem with this is twofold: there are many, many other people who are far, far worse off than me. What would they do? Not a bloody lot I imagine. Secondly, could she have been any less helpful? It’s all about numbers, figures, databases, and targets these days. When I was at the NHS, we were similarly crippled in booking patients on for operations or clinics, but every day we made exceptions where possible.
Anyway, I’m now eating chicken soup which, apparently, is also known as Jewish penicillin.