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Back from holiday to swine flu, heartsinks and the Daily Mail

Hello campers! I’m fresh back from my Gallic holiday and bouncing with almost unbearable enthusiasm thanks to batteries recharged by fine wine and photons.

Hello campers! I'm fresh back from my Gallic holiday and bouncing with almost unbearable enthusiasm thanks to batteries recharged by fine wine and photons.

It won't take long for the dark clouds to gather, of course. Because my holiday fantasies that pig-flu would fly away, that the annual heartsink outing would end in motorway/patch of oil tragedy and that the Daily Mail would publish a feature on ‘Why GPs deserve every penny they get' don't seem to have come to fruition, oddly.

Specifically…The swine flu epidemic appears to have been replaced by an epidemic of people who phoned the help line but found they couldn't trust someone who couldn't pronounce the final word in the sentence, ‘Are you unresponsive?' and so want a second opinion on whether they should try to get a drug which is of no use for an illness that they don't have...

…The heartsinks girded their loins and saved up all their woes to provide me with the surgery from hell, with added moaning, on my return…

…and the Daily Wail? Well, that was so risible as to be almost amusing. In fact, if you can get past the reflex hilarity caused by the thrust of the story, you'll get to a phrase which I reckon plumbs new depths in GP knocking.

In relation to QOF, the piece states, and I quote, "Critics say it is too easy for GPs to gain maximum points and accuse them of ignoring patients like dementia victims who are not covered by the scheme." So, when a patient with dementia is brought into my surgery by a concerned relative I adopt the kind of expression I normally reserve for a pile of doggy-do, refuse to make eye contact or enter into any conversation with them, and simply continue with my QOF based, income-generating number-crunching on my computer screen until they take the hint and bugger off. That's according to ‘critics' who ‘inform' the Mail's articles.

OK. I'll tell you what would make me very, very happy. For my heartsinks to leave just one appointment free, for that appointment to be filled by someone who works for the Daily Mail, for that someone to think he/she has swine flu and for that illness to require an intraocular injection of boiling oil.

Oh, did I just read that last treatment algorithm wrong? Sorry, I must have had pounds signs in front of my eyes.

Tell you what, though. I really would like to meet whoever's earning £380,000 per year. After all, I'm trying to save for my next holiday.

Copperfield Copperfield

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