Saturday, May 13, 2006
I have been straying from the thought experiments theme, so, luckily, two just came to me. A GP once told me that 90 per cent of the people who came through his door were either not sick or suffering from something he could do nothing about - say, a cold or flu. I think the problem is that, in childhood, many people are rewarded for being sick. I was and, as a result, I often feel ill for no particular reason, probably out of self-pity. The reward in the NHS is free treatment and a conversation with a nice doctor plus all those interesting magazines in the waiting room. We should switch this round and punish children for being ill, making it clear that this is a shameful state to be in. In later life, they would be ashamed to go to the doctor. If that GP was right, this will not make a bit of difference to the actual health of the nation and it would lower health care costs enormously. So what if sickness were a sin?
Posted by Bryan Appleyard at 6:48 am