Wednesday, 23 June 2010

A Wednesday afternoon in General Practice and a football match.

In General Practice you see and hear a lot about people. Today was an interesting one.

A lot of our staff, who are mothers, were moaning that they had to be at work but their children’s schools were shutting for the England world cup game or their kids were being allowed to watch the England match rather than being educated.

The local and National radio stations were all reporting how benevolent employers were letting staff home early (to watch The Match) or letting their staff stop working (to watch The Match).

Those of our predominantly female staff who walk into a large market town for their lunch reported feeling intimidated by the large numbers of red shirted lads drinking ale at lunchtime and shouting.

For those of us in healthcare there appeared to be a National Holiday when all of us were at work.

Most surgeries were full but unusually there were odd gaps and fewer emergencies than usual.

While trying to do work on line a lot of staff reported that they could not access the internet for things like travel immunisation data until the match had finished. Our normal connection speed slow, in stone age rural Northenshire at the best of times, was really slow or non existant.

Could it be that the useless UK internet network was severely compromised due to everyone who was at work with broadband streaming the world cup to their desktop? A theory we shall see.

The drive home in the rural shires of Northenshire was also different. Normally there will in summer be a few people sitting outside on pub benches drinking.

This evening on one side of a road it looked like we were seeing Wellington’s red coats at Waterloo all armed with a glass of lined up against the dark blue and yellows of the local constabulary on the other side of the road. The red coats were spilling out of pubs in large numbers and sitting and standing on outdoor tables. The blues and yellows were fewer in number and standing beside parked up Police vans.

Not seen that before but fortunately no bricks or petrol bombs but nonetheless the Ferrari was pushed once the lights went from red to drive through these 2 lines of reds and blues.

So when we got home we found the result. A one nil victory for England.

Nice to know that an eleven man team, many of whom will each earn in a week what it costs our practice to run for a week, will feel they have earned their pay for collectively putting one ball in a net. For some reason our staff don’t feel the same.

Someone once said football is more than life and death. So is healthcare but one is usually cheap and readily availabe in the UK in contrast to that available in South Africa.

Praise be to the Party for providing football on TV for a fraction of the cost of a Darzi centre consultation and in doing so helping so many but to what exactly? Worse still there is more to come.

Are we just being miserable? Or, is the importance of kicking a ball about, rather than providing basic healthcare the world over, more than a game?


Anonymous said...

I'm not sure what it is, but Orwell was right, give people an external enemy, even if it is in the context of football and the idiots will get more jingoistic than any moral man should

Make no mistake said...