Friday, 22 July 2011


You can get all sorts of side effects with diabetes and in thirty years on insulin I've had a few and  one of them, anyway, was playing up, not responding to the usual stuff.  It was a Saturday and doctors working outside of a few hours a day, for a few days a week is unheard of; all those facilities lying idle,  labs, clinics, x-ray suites, operating theatres deserted, while Doc and his Mrs are playing golf, or trawling the antique shops, or maybe off for a weekend in some fabulous resort, courtesy of PharmaCorp.  Amazing how something so inherently acute, so seven-days-a-week,  operates only on a  nine-to five, Monday-to-Friday basis.  Bastards. So I strapped myself into the Citroen rocketcar and roared off to the town.  The McPharmacist was behind the counter.  This stuff, it's not working any more;  is there anything else? Aye, you need such and such.  Okay I'll have one, emmachisett, as they say at the car boot sales. Och, nae charge I'll put it on the minor ailments thingy, you're well eligible, just sign here.

How very civilised, I thought,  the knowledge of the minor ailments scheme coming back into my mind.
If you're sick, anyway, and you get some pisssant little complaint -  sore throat, sore arse, boils, whatever - you just go and see the chemist and he or she  gives you some stuff, gratis, or for free, as we say, here in  the land of linguistic ruin.  I guess the thinking is that a) it will save a  more costly visit to some useless, greedy, indifferent doctorbastard and b) it may well prevent something minor becoming something worse.  Now, we are not rich here in Ishmaelia, even so,  I could easily have paid for that medication but there are many, further along the have-not  shore, to whom  an unbudgeted-for five or six quid is  significant.  It cheered me up for the rest of the weekend, knowing that we had reached a stage  at where  the state had taken some of the sting out of illness and people won't be in pain or irritation or fear, waiting for doctor to open up for his miserable few hours a day, won't have to go and sit in some shithole waiting room, reading doctor's cast-off Country Life magazines,  tyrannised by gargoyle, misanthropic, sour-faced harridan-bitch receptionists, with wheezy people coughing  germs all over them  but can just wander into a chemist's and get a bit sorted. Mr George Bernard Shaw remarked that all professions are a conspiracy against the layman, and he was correct but anything which breaks the stranglehold that GPs have over people's lives, even if it means switching to the mercies of another over-rated professional, is to be heartily applauded.

There is something so liberating, so egalitarian,  about a quick, discreet consultation over the counter, as opposed to sitting, stiff-arsed, for an hour  in a waiting room and then creeping into doctor's  grumpy, wee cell, like a supplicant, knowing full well that the horrible know-it-all bastard hasn't washed the hand that he's just had up some old geezer's arse and if you dare ask him if he has he'll strike you off and no other fucking doctorbastard will touch you ever again.  I'd hang one in ten of them, see what happened to their work to golf ratio then. But in the meantime, if I possibly can,  I am only going to have minor, free market style ailments, and I'm going to be the chemist's best customer. Fuck it, they get paid, don't they, just not as much as Doctor Shit does.


mongoose said...

That's interesting, Mr I. Is this available all over the UK or just in the best part of England?

subrosa said...

My GP's surgery is actually a rather posh place with special cushions on the seating for those who prefer a higher seat, a fish tank and no magazines because of 'contamination'. It also has an enclosed play area for children and bags of parking space.

I get my pile cream from the local chemist on the minor ailments thingy. ;)

call me ishmael said...

I think it's a best part of England measure inasmuch as it's free to all, here, as are prescriptions; the scheme does apply in England but only to those already exempt from precriptions charges, which is, so they keep saying, most people.

Sounds good ms subrosa, especially the no magazines policy, do they wear white coats, too? what I can't understand is how doctors - and especially diabetes nurses - are allowed to practice, often performing invasive procedures, in their street clothes, it's pure nineteenth century.

PT Barnum said...

I will put myself firmly in the camp of being far fonder of my GP practice than any local pharmacy. As a frequent flyer myself, our pharmarcists remind me of a cross behind double glazing salesmen and street evangelists, while my doctors' place is a startlingly humane environment staffed by human beings who make the system fit the individual, and that includes the receptionists.

But, compared to what I know about other local GP practices, I know I got lucky. Mine seems to be the only one in the vicinity where you can still make an advanced appointment, rather than join an 8 am telephone scrum for a same-day appointment with no alternative. My mother, aged 74, has in the last year mastered the only other choice her doctor offers, booking ahead online, and I am ridiculously proud of her, not least for bucking the system.

call me ishmael said...

That's what I like about the pharmacist's, mr ptb, that it is impersonal, you don't have to like the bastards and I don't but if you can get what you need without all that earnest sitting at some cunt's desk then what, as they say,'s not to like?

I have known a lot of them in my business life, been in their bedrooms, seen their children and I'd rather be dead than have a meaningful relationship with a doctor. Saw one this morning, as a patient, a rheumatologist. He was just like the urologist and the cardiologist and the oncologist, just pledging his time, less competent, in my judgement, than the drunken bozos who used to work the nightshift at Jaguar Cars in the 'seventies, just part of an awesome assembly line. If we jailed some of the worst offenders they'd all be the better for it.