Well presented discussion points – in glad I didn’t miss the reference to this article that was made in a tweet. Understanding the system which makes people take the decisions that they select is essential if society is to continue benefiting from a universal health care system. Patients are making Rational Decisions – they just aren’t always the ones the health managers would like them to take
Like many people who spout rhetoric about the NHS, I am guilty of indulging in the blame game. Some professionals and policy makers ‘blame’ patients for ‘inappropriate attendance’ at A&E and we have millions spent on campaigns to urge us to ‘choose wisely’ when thinking about heading that way (assuming that we do not make rational choices).
Likewise, I can blame professional for thoughtless and ineffective policies and practices. Or, I can point the finger at ‘the system’ for being professionally-centric. Note that the notion of blaming ‘the system’ is itself a neat trick that casts a blanket of blame over others, without requiring us to be more precise about where the problem lies. It is also a familiar tactic for the traditional patient movement through which we can maintain an ‘us and them’ attitude and an adversarial posture towards improvement.
However, this one vexes me. I have been active…
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