Bizarre: Carbon footprint used to deny medical visit

This is the Caduceus used.

The medical Caduceus. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I kept hoping that this was a terrible mistake, and that the story would be retracted. Alas, it seems to be be all too real, and an insult to the Hippocratic Oath.

From the Telegraph (UK)

An elderly woman was ordered to find a new GP because the “carbon footprint” of her two-mile round trips to the surgery where she had been treated for 30 years was too large. 

Avril Mulcahy, 83, was told to address the “green travelling issues” over her journeys from her home in Westcliff-on-Sea, Essex, to the West Road Surgery.

The letter said: “Our greatest concern is for your health and convenience but also taking into consideration green travelling issues. Re: Carbon footprints and winter weather conditions, we feel it would be advisable for patients to register at surgeries nearer to where they live. We would be very grateful if you could make the necessary arrangements to re-register at another practice.”

“To be treated like this, just because I live too far away or for what I feel is a reaction to my complaint, is disgraceful. It feels like they are just coming up with an excuse to get rid of me.”

Given the treatment I have experienced for my views, I wouldnot be at all surprised if this grows. As Andrew Bolt says: “They really are mad you know…

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115 thoughts on “Bizarre: Carbon footprint used to deny medical visit

  1. Yes indeedy, they really have gone that far down “barking” territory! There has been mention from “NooLabour” days that Drs would talk to their patients about their carbon footprint. I look forward to the record number of demnds for Drs to be struck off, for their incompetence regarding things outside their domain! As if!

  2. And in Westcliff-on-Sea some nasty little jobsworth will be congratulating himself on having saved the planet today.

  3. The NHS is the UK have always been looking for an excuse to do even less than they get paid to do. Now they have the ultimate excuse to do nothing at all.

  4. As the comments on the Telegraph put it … after New Labour bought of this last closed-shop trade union by dolling £billions on them, most doctors drive flashy sports cars.

    I believe all doctors now abide by the hypocritical oath!

  5. They don’t take the Hippocratic Oath any more Anthony. I suspect they found it’s commonsense far too restrictive on their activist public health beliefs and ‘initiatives’.

  6. No surprise really. The NHS is another taxpayer funded body which believes it’s own press, accountable only to politicians and civil servants who don’t have the competence to be able to hold it to account. From my bitter experience, I say privatise it, and give me the choice to spend my money with healthcare providers whose poor performance can be challenged by walking away from them.

  7. It would be interesting to know how many patients live more than a mile (2-mile round-trip) from their GPs. Rather a lot I would have thought! [I'm OK, though (sick!), I'm in walking distance.]

  8. The amazing thing about the uK health service, incidently like most things UK, is that they think they are the best in the world and can’t do any better. Oh and privatization, forget it. The british have been brainwashed into thinking that ‘free at source’ is the only possible ‘free’ health service.

  9. Having an extensive knowledge of medical practice (practical & theoric), I’m quite sure it is the 2nd intuition that is the right explanation.

    Most people think that medical professionnal are incapable of malice since after all, their purpose is to help & relief suffering… Well here some news, they are human like every one else & quite capable at abusing of their power on the weak & sick.
    CO2 et al. is just an excuse, if the lady has made some form of complain, this is just the “normal” reaction.

    Also, she has probably been told the usual response: “you should instead thank us…”

    Sorry if my description seem depressing, but AFAIK this is the way of typical socialist medical practice we are used to endure up here.

    At least we still have law here to allow access to our medical record. For those of you w/t little knowledge of medecine here is a good one: A reputed competent urologist has prescribed an antibiotic for an infection, but the available recent antibiogram, signed by a competent microbiologist, clearly stated that the offending bacteria was “resistant” to this perticular prescribed antibiotics, and no it was not sample contamination… Why not fill a complain? Because its the best way to loose that urologist & it can take a waiting of up to half a year or more to see another one. See what I mean…

  10. Proof, if any were needed, that a socialist medical system is run for the benefit of the practitioners and not the patients. The rest of the world should take note.

  11. Next time you call for an ambulance it may be turned down because it is a too far ride ?
    I can hear the shocked conversation:
    -” No way man, we can’t go there, think of the carbon footprint!”

  12. BUILDING FOR A HEALTHIER FUTURE IN SOUTH EAST ESSEX
    Dr Beverley Davies was involved in the 5 year strategy which “is far reaching and sets out an ambitious programme to genuinely improve the health of the local population, to increase patient satisfaction,”

    http://www.see.nhs.uk/content/file/BuildingHealthierCommunities/Building%20for%20the%20future%20in%20South%20East%20Essex%208%20Jan%2008.pdf

    “We are a major local employer and we have a responsibility to improve the quality of the environment within which we all live and work, and to reduce the effects of climate change. To demonstrate our commitment a member of the PCT Board has agreed to take responsibility for leading on environmental sustainability. We are currently developing a corporate environmental strategy. This will include a number of performance indicators so we can assess how well we are doing.”

  13. Odds are the knothead that made that decision was not a doctor or a nurse. Merely a bureaucrat.

  14. For those commenting below the line, do not tar all doctors with the same brush. This is a case of exceptional idiocy by this GP Surgery. It seems the patient had complained against one of the doctors. The correct response would have been to address the complaint properly, not kick the patient off the list on spurious grounds. There are no targets or incentives for GPs to encourage their patients to reduce their carbon footprint.

    In my experience, those patients with the lowest carbon footprints are the ones most at risk of suicide or serious medical illness. This is because they are at home all the time, lying in bed in a state of severe depression. An increase in their carbon footprint is to be actively encouraged.

    As to those commenting on the NHS from the United States, bear in mind that it costs less per head of population than Medicare/ Medicaid/ VA, provides universal coverage free at the point of access, and ensures the working poor/ uninsurable do not fall into a poverty trap if they become ill.

    DOI – London GP.

  15. My GP is a ten mile round trip; followed by a further 6 miles to the nearest pharmacy. The next closest GP is a 22 mile round trip. We have public transport on a Thursday, leaving a 3/4 mile walk up a 1 in 6 hill to the surgery. I now have to go more often because the greenie arseholes removed the CFC’s from my salbutamol inhaler and the new CFC free ones are about as effective as a cat’s fart.

  16. What about the carbon footprint of the GPs. I’m sure they would be driving very expensive sports cars…

  17. And this is the model the twits in the current administration hold up as an example of what health care *should* look like.

    C’mon, November…

  18. I’d be willing to bet the Doctor lives more than 1 mile from the practice…

    I suspect the Medical Ombudsman is going to be kept busy with this one.

  19. I live a 7 mile round trip from my doctor, but he’s also the nearest one! Luckily I seem to be in good health and haven’t needed to go for 2 years. In fact the last time I went he mentioned, a tad surprised, that I hadn’t been for over 2 years. I replied that I’d been quite well, thank you!

    It seems they have used this excuse to get her off their list for ‘complaining’. They get very tetchy, even if a complaint is valid.

  20. Where does the Dr live in relation to his practice and what is his mode of travel. It may be that, by the same argument (carbon footprint) that the good doctor should move.

  21. Umm…. What happened to WUWT scepticism and the spirit of enquiry? The newspaper report says:

    “Our greatest concern is for your health and convenience but also taking into consideration green travelling issues. Re: Carbon footprints and winter weather conditions, we feel it would be advisable for patients to register at surgeries nearer to where they live. We would be very grateful if you could make the necessary arrangements to re-register at another practice.”

    That doesn’t read as if ‘green’ issues are to the fore. It rather reads as if they are looking for excuses to suggest that she goes elsewhere. There is a very telling comment in the paper, which I reproduce below:

    “Please, people, dont’ be so gullible. Doctors don’t make money if they don’t have patients (even NHS patients). No business is going to ask a customer to go elsewhere just because they’re worried about greenhouse emissions. I think you’ll find that the lady has told you why she was asked to find another doctor. It’s right there in the article, and it’s got nothing to do with how far she has to drive. I’m guessing that they don’t want her business any more (for some reason). She’s not going to spell that out, and the surgery CAN’T spell it out (pretty much by law).”

    I suggest that a bit more journalism needs to be done here, and this item (like many of the tree-rings papers) is interesting because of data it doesn’t contain….

  22. Not necessarily unusual to ask a patient to visit a different clinic if they are too busy or there are other legitimate concerns. The “carbon footprint” excuse, though, seems to suggest that this poor individual came up against a Greenie. I suppose we will see more of that sort of strange behaviour in the future.

  23. I nominate this for climate craziness of the week.

    I hope Warmists are now proud of themselves. This insanity has to stop over man’s trace rise of the trace gas co2. On the other hand (give ‘em rope)…. ;-)

  24. There are so many Carbon blinded jobsworths in the UK [many in the UK coalition government]
    that it will be years before the waste of money Green Garbage Bandwagon finally shudders to its demise.

    It should be happening today. Our grand kids are going to hate us for being so dumb!

    83 years old Avril’s GP needs his/her lobotomy reversing.

  25. I wonder how many GPs live more than a mile from their practices. Especially where those practices/health centres have many doctors based there. At my own local Health Centre, there are ten doctors and five nurses.

  26. I’m so gobsmacked by this post that I have checked the distance to my GP as suggested in Ian E’s post. I live in a UK Midlands town, my GP is in the next town.

    Google Maps shows 3.3 mile by car, but only 2.9 miles on foot.

    Fortunately my GP is a bit more sensible about carbon footprints but is still on the NHS message about forcing statins down people’s throats.

  27. It is almost certain that the real reason was that she complained about her doctor and the one thing they can’t use as a reason for removing her from the practice list is making a complaint so they probably made it up

  28. Disgusting.

    2 miles round trip – 1 mile each way – 83 years old with a 30 year history? I don’t care if she was the most terrible patient in the world this is inexcusable.

    Especially considering the West Road Surgery is IN Westcliff-on-Sea, Essex:

    http://www.westroadsurgery.co.uk/

    12 West Road
    Westcliff-on-Sea
    Essex, SS0 9DA
    Tel: 0844 576 9790

  29. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2124565/Pensioner-ordered-leave-GP-surgery-used-30-years-living-mile-away-caused-green-travel-issues.html?ITO=1490

    “A furious Mrs Mulcahy suspects the decision is actually a response to a complaint she made about a doctor a month earlier and is fighting to have it overturned.
    ‘When he visited me he was very rude and didn’t seem to know why he had been sent,’ she said at her home in Westcliff- on-Sea, Essex.
    ‘My diabetes had begun affecting the sight in my right eye and was starting to affect my left eye too, so I was quite concerned when he visited.
    ‘He didn’t seem to care. He did nothing to help me at all other than take my blood pressure and leave. I was so angry about it I called the surgery and told them, “I don’t ever want that doctor under my roof again”.
    ‘There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that this letter was a direct result of my complaint.”

    This has nothing to do with her “carbon footprint” doctors in the UK are getting a bit of a reputation for this kind of action.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2050225/NHS-complaints-GPs-ban-patients-following-trivial-disagreements.html

    “GPs ban patients just for daring to complain: Entire families unfairly removed from practices following trivial disagreements”

  30. “The West Road Surgery declined to comment. Andrew Stride, the head of governance, risk and customer services for NHS South Essex, said: “We would advise all patients who have concerns about any aspect of local NHS care to contact the patient advice and liaison service.”
    Ah! head of governance, risk and customer services, a meaningless title for a meaningless job carried out by a meaningless person.
    Doctor Doctor everyone is ignoring me?
    Next

  31. O/T
    I had known the icon as belonging to Hermes, God of Cunning & Commerce, not medicine.

    As below
    Today, two serpent motifs are commonly used to symbolize the practice and profession of medicine. Internationally, the most popular symbol of medicine is the single serpent–entwined staff of Asklepios (Latin, Aesculapius), the ancient Greco-Roman god of medicine. However, in the United States, the staff of Asklepios (the Asklepian) and a double serpent–entwined staff with surmounting wings (the caduceus) are both popular medical symbols. The latter symbol is often designated as the “medical caduceus” and is equated with the ancient caduceus, the double serpent–entwined staff of the Greco-Roman god Hermes (Latin, Mercury). Many physicians would be surprised to learn that the medical caduceus has a quite modern origin: Its design is derived not from the ancient caduceus of Hermes but from the printer’s mark of a popular 19th-century medical publisher. Furthermore, this modern caduceus became a popular medical symbol only after its adoption by the U.S. Army Medical Corps at the beginning of the 20th century. This paper describes the ancient origin of the Asklepian and how a misunderstanding of ancient mythology and iconography seems to have led to the inappropriate popularization of the modern caduceus as a medical symbol.
    The Symbol of Modern Medicine: Why One Snake Is More Than Two*
    Annals of Internal Medicine (2003) April 15 V138
    source: Ref 1 wiki article

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rod_of_Asclepius#cite_note-AIM-0

  32. Mine is just across the street. Any of you denialist coal train driving bear murderers wanna buy some carbon credits? Preferably before you get ill? /sarc

  33. Welcome to Barking Britain. This story is typical of the UK now.

    Oh, and where I am they relocated the main hospital years ago. It used to be near the middle of town; it’s now two or three miles out, near the ring road. That move increases the “carbon footprint” of thousands of patients every year, but presumably has some unguessable administrative advantage.

  34. The story here is not about climate alarmism, it is about using fatuous excuses given pseudo-legitimacy through political correctness to get rid of an inconvenient and, given her age, probably expensive patient. This is pretty standard for state provision in the UK I am ashamed to say.

  35. The Hippocratic Oath metamorphosed into the Anti-Carbon Hypocrites’ Oath.

    Next, our carbon footprint will be metered from the day we are born and when we reach a certain predetermined amount we will be injected a lethal dose. Of course this willnot apply to Al Gore and his church members.

    I have met Big Brother and his colour is (solyent) green.

  36. Just remember all you Americans – this is what Obama is trying to get you to buy into. As for Onion, his experience with the NHS is different to mine. The NHS is fine unless you are sick.

  37. “Carbon footprint used to deny medical visit”

    vs:

    December 7th, 2009…a day that will live in hypocrisy:

    “As well 15,000 delegates and officials, 5,000 journalists and 98 world leaders, the Danish capital will be blessed by the presence of Leonardo DiCaprio, Daryl Hannah, Helena Christensen, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Prince Charles. A Republican US senator, Jim Inhofe, is jetting in at the head of an anti-climate-change “Truth Squad.” The top hotels – all fully booked at £650 a night – are readying their Climate Convention menus of (no doubt sustainable) scallops, foie gras and sculpted caviar wedges.”

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/12/07/december-7th-2009-a-day-that-will-live-in-hypocrisy/

  38. Ian E says:
    April 6, 2012 at 12:46 am

    It would be interesting to know how many patients live more than a mile (2-mile round-trip) from their GPs. Rather a lot I would have thought! [I'm OK, though (sick!), I'm in walking distance.]

    Of more interest would be the distance that the doctors lived from their surgery. Remember due to the ruling that doctors need not see patients overnight, the locum services and the hospitals have been flying in doctors from Germany to UK daily for night cover.

  39. One of the reasons we travelled half way round the world was to get away from the NHS … sounds as bad as ever, only for different reasons. At least, it seems that the practice you are registered at is no longer dictated by the NHS. As observed above, there may be more to this story.
    I recall a UK study, early-mid 70s probably, into why some people are better than others at surviving hospital treatment. The stand-out reason was (and I paraphrase) “being a pain in the arse”.
    I also recall medi-alert bracelets that said “In the event of an emergency, please do not take me to Prince Charles Hospital” [Merthyr]
    83 and still driving? Avril’s probably better off getting away from these clowns. Can we send her a carbon credit? (We live 30 metres away from our medical centre.)

  40. Mr Green Genes says:

    Proof, if any were needed, that a socialist medical system is run for the benefit of the practitioners and not the patients.

    That is in complete contrast to the United States where the most important question when it comes to diagnosing and treating illnesses is, “what is your credit card number?”

  41. And how much CO2 is emitted by all the journeys of those large white vehicles with flashing lights and sirens? Ban ‘em, I say!

  42. Few reader to this site would fail to recognise a ruse when they see one. Such is the case here where the GP concerned has employed an argument wrapped up in nothing more than horse manure. This superficial moralising is common amongst the higher echelons of British society, a major factor in the ongoing decline of this country. While this is recognised, the grip of unprincipled behaviour continues to strengthen thanks to generations who never get stretched by the educational system, never mind meaningful work. To keep this group growing and stupid, the controlling elites provide a diet of rubbish via conflict orientated television programming and trivia obsessed media. Unable to escape far too many here never learn anything accept how to put our their hands for the next welfare payment. Within such a atmosphere, doctors and for that matter anyone else, can and do get away with doing as they please.

  43. This is nothing to do with climate change and all to do with some petty jobs worth using it as excuse to deny this women treatment for having the temerity to make a complaint trashy embarrassed them.

  44. Meanwhile 60,000 global warming junketeers are booking their tickets to fly round the world to yet another vacuous, talk fest in Rio.

  45. I would have thought having a GP within two miles would be a bonus, but what do I know? Time to sack some managers and save a great British institution!

  46. For all they know she might have walked, cycled or driven in a Toyota Pious or some other form of transport acceptable to eco loons!

    What next?

    ‘I’m sorry sir, we can’t treat you – you arrived in an SUV. We’ve worked out your fuel consumption and decided that if you live more than 450 yards from the surgery you’re not eligible.

    Find another GP!

  47. Perhaps a rewrite of the GP’s letter is in order:

    “Dear Avril
    You’re cracking on a bit you know, 83 according to our records and you recently made a complaint.
    You are just not the sort of person that we want to encourage as patients. We prefer young, healthy people that don’t bother us with their problems and, because we never see them they don’t make complaints.
    Best of luck finding another practice, we’ll be removing you from our list.

    Yours sincerely”

  48. In the UK GP Practices have a limited budget and therefore tend to prefer young and healthy people who subsidise the cost of care for their elderly patients, children and chronically or terminally ill patients.

    According to the National Health Service a patient has “the right to choose a GP practice and to be accepted by that practice unless there are reasonable grounds to refuse you, such as living outside the practice boundary. Normally, the practice should inform you of those reasons.”

    The worst GP’s can be high handed and often wish to get rid of patients who make complaints about them or their practice. If Avril Mulcahy lives within the boundary of the Practice then she has a right to be a patient at West Road Surgery.

    GP’s do make home visits during the day but many are lazy and don’t like travelling too far from their surgeries which they have to do more frequently for the elderly. Nor do they like coordinating and paying for ancillary services out of their limited budgets, which cost more for the elderly.

    A recent report into social care for the UK government by Professor Andrew Dilnot, in effect stated that GP’s should support elderly patients better.

    Mrs Mulcahy’s travel arrangements and carbon footprint are, of course, spurious reasons for her doctor to give to expel her from the Practice. But who would want to be treated by a doctor who behaved in this way?

  49. Ian E says:

    It would be interesting to know how many patients live more than a mile (2-mile round-trip) from their GPs. Rather a lot I would have thought! [I'm OK, though (sick!), I'm in walking distance.]
    Depending on how sick you are “walking distance” may be rather more than a mile.
    I wonder if this woman’s current surgery is actually the closest one to where she lives…

  50. @ Jessie “I had known the icon as belonging to Hermes, God of Cunning & Commerce, not medicine. ”

    Yes, and in fact, one of the services which Hermes was occasionally called upon to perform was that of escorting the newly dead to the underworld.

  51. This story didn’t break on the morning of 1st April, by any chance..?
    Just checkin’….

  52. A read of the Telegraph on a regular basis yields a horror story or two a week about the NHS. This one is no different.

  53. “taking into consideration green travelling issues…”

    Only in Britain. Luckily they have a doctor every square mile so she’ll be fine.

  54. I’ve been reading horror stories about the British system of socialist medicine since it’s inception.

    If Obamacare survives the courts and the elections, then for US citizens, this is a story “coming soon to a clinic near you.”

  55. “Our greatest concern is for your health and convenience ”

    obviously not.

    Her carbon footprint was causing the world to globally warm. She is responsible for the global warming epidemic. Now the world will cool because of this decision. Hooray for them that they can out-do copenhagen and the IPCC in a single decision.

    However, I travel well over two miles every day. Thus the world will continue to warm afterall.

    This is such a dilemma

  56. of course, doctors in the uk do well over 2 miles every day in cars…

    get the ambulances off the roads! They are causing the world to burn!

  57. We have made a terrible mistake. We thought green was life, spring, a beginning. We were wrong. Green is decay, mold, putrefaction.

  58. If Obama’s recent posturing is any indication he already either knows the vote results from last Friday and it went against him or in the alternative he is stoking the fires to get the Supreme Courts shackled.

    He really should be careful as he might find himself with unintended consequences.

  59. We (the patients) are supposed to have greater choice in healthcare provision so if she wants to have a doctor on the moon that should be alright. And don’t get me started about private medicine in the UK. As soon as something goes wrong in the private sector, the National Health Service has to jump into action because it has the economy of scale to possess the expensive kit and specialist resources that the private clinics don’t. I thought we didn’t like cherry picking on this site.

  60. Disko Troop says:
    April 6, 2012 at 1:05 am

    “… the new CFC free [inhalers] are about as effective as a cat’s fart.”

    The mental imagery of a cat being used in such a manner is a bit disturbing.

    …but I think something similar was represented on South Park.

  61. Terrible for the patient, but in the end it’s best to have had the supporters of the pogrom identify themselves.

  62. My guess is that the lady is right, and the ‘carbon footprint’ remark was an attempt to put a positive gloss (as they see it) on getting rid of her. Could be she’s a chronic complainer, or rude to the staff, or non-compliant with treatment, or something. Believe it or not, there are times when local practices here in the States have to discharge patients for one reason or another, and I assume that is also true in the UK.

    /Mr Lynn

  63. I’m sure the real reason they suggested she go elsewhere had nothing to do with carbon footprint or anything. Lots of daft things happen in the UK, but this doctor’s surgery isn’t that daft.

  64. Not so “Great Britain” has fallen off the logic train. No other description needed.

  65. mfo…..But who would want to be treated by a doctor who behaved in this way?

    That was exactly the first thought that struck me…. who on earth would want to be treated by somebody with such a sick mind?

  66. Dodgy Geezer says:
    April 6, 2012 at 1:31 am
    “Umm…. What happened to WUWT scepticism and the spirit of enquiry? The newspaper report says:

    “Our greatest concern is for your health and convenience but also taking into consideration green travelling issues. Re: Carbon footprints and winter weather conditions, we feel it would be advisable for patients to register at surgeries nearer to where they live. We would be very grateful if you could make the necessary arrangements to re-register at another practice.”

    That doesn’t read as if ‘green’ issues are to the fore.”

    Following your recommendation I did read it and I find that it says “but also taking into consideration green travelling issues. Re: Carbon footprints and “. Just like when I read it the first time.

    Maybe you missed that. Anyway, of course it’s a pretense to get rid of that patient, but a decidedly green pretense. Where is the outcry of the greens about this malicious abuse of their religion? The green BBC reports nothing.

  67. This is what happens when you look to the government to solve “problems.” They are never solved, and the problems grow exponentially. FDR did not end the Great Depression (Recession to our friends on the other side of the pond), he prolonged it. The Great Society did not end poverty, it merely made generations dependent on the federal government. Medicare did not control medical costs, it helped inflate them. The War on Drugs has done nothing to deal with drug use issues, just made it more violent. And last, but not least, the whole AGW nonsense. Big government, bigger problems.

  68. More likely this highlights the fact that some General Practitioner can’t handle a complaint from some poor 83 year old patient without throwing their doll out of the pushchair ……..now what excuse shall I make to strike my complaining patient off the list?…… Oh yes the evil CO2….. that sounds plausible.
    At least they can offset the patients ‘carbon footprint’ against the Doctors journeys to the golf course.

  69. As the lady says, she knows its nothing to do with her carbon footprint, but just an insincere invocation of a supposed argument stopper. It used to be Health & Safety that would have been the universal pretence for shutting down any discussion. It probably still is but is no longer alone.

    I susggest the good lady goes back to the surgery, and seeks treatment for her carbon foot.

  70. The beauty of the progressive welfare state. When the government gives you “free” health care, education, retirement, etc…Guess what? You’re now a liability.

  71. The last time I went to the local A&E (Colchester) I had a severe ear infection which seemed on the point of bursting my eardrum. I live alone so had to drive myself – a 16 mile round trip. The hospital is so badly signed I drove for nearly an hour round and round the one-way bypass system trying to find it – nobody to ask at 11pm of course: people don’t live on industrial estates.

    I was finally seen by an Eastern European lady doctor at c3am. Her English was minimal. She asked me what she should give me for my ailment – I said I’m not sure which antibiotic, but make it strong. She consulted a manual for several minutes with furrowed brow, then gave me a scrip for some capsules which had little effect on my ear but made me feel very ill indeed. I staggered to my own doctor at 8am – a 12 mile round trip and yes they are the closest – and he rolled his eyes and said the antibiotic she’d given me would have had no effect on my ear. I looked it up later – it was pretty effective for my next chest infection, even cutting the capsules in half!

    I don’t blame the lady doctor, who’d no doubt been flown in from Poland or somewhere for the night shift: I expect she was very tired from lack of sleep, and needed the money for her family. I only bothered to complain about the signage to the hospital – I gave up on that after a pointless exchange with a lady jobsworth at the Council, who refused to accept the signs were inadequate and just kept telling me where they were.

    My point that even if they WERE where she siad they were, they were clearly invisible since I kept missing them, seemed to escape here: but as we know, ‘the customer is always wrong’ these days!

  72. PS I went to my own doc at 8am on Monday, the trip to hospital having been made on Saturday night. I was lucky enough then to have a practice which had a two hour open surgery every morning, and on four of those days you could see your own GP – no appt necessary. The five of them had a day off each week from the surgery

  73. I would advise Avril Mulcahy to keep showing for treatment up the West Road Surgery clinic in Essex. The ridiculous requst in the letter is nothing more than is half witted attempt to scare Avril into compliance. The flatulent edit has no legal weight and the Essex clinic cannot refuse service to her unless they wish to initiate a lawsuit they would surely lose. When cofronted by Patty Paperpushingham when she shows up for treatment, Mrs.Mulcahy should just tell her to kiss her lilly white fundament.

  74. The way these things are calculated is that the doctor divides his carbon footprint by the number of patients he sees. That’s how her 2 km kicked it over the limit.

  75. “You are 83 therefore a waste of resources.” “The time and money can be spent on
    someone useful.” “Like a Barrister(Lawyer) or MP(Congressman).”
    “Good Day..”

  76. “The story here is not about climate alarmism, it is about using fatuous excuses given pseudo-legitimacy through political correctness to get rid of an inconvenient and, given her age, probably expensive patient. This is pretty standard for state provision in the UK I am ashamed to say”

    I reckon you’re right and rationing or non-price discrimination is precisely what you get when you control pricing so basically suck it up luv. The delicious part of it all is the practice is playing the game to perfection and hoisting any forseeable PC objectors on their own petard. Basically- yes all our patients are important to us but you know how it is when it comes to the Planet folks? You’ve got to break a few eggs to consider the Big Omelette. Priceless because right there is the Greenshirts’ jackboot attitude writ large for all to see.

  77. grumpyoldmanuk says:
    April 6, 2012 at 2:18 am
    Just remember all you Americans – this is what Obama is trying to get you to buy into

    Two mile rt? Hey grumpy, better not plan on coming to the US for healthcare services. When Obama’s HHS Sec. Sebelius hears of this, she’ll probably lobby Obama to issue an executive order to the INS to refuse entry into the US to anyone coming for medical surgeries or treatments. Just TOO big of a carbon footprint. Tell them to get their health care in their home country.

  78. What a load of absolute tosh being spouted here.
    The UK NHS is more cost effective than any private health scheme. (just whom is paying for replacement of privately inserted breast implants that may leak – It is not the people who inserted them!)
    A search here

    http://www.nhs.uk/Pages/HomePage.aspx

    shows “We found 15 GP practices within 1 mile of xxxxxx ”
    5 are within 0.5 miles

    She is housebound, she has no transport, she will require home visits by GPs or transport (ambulance/car from local hospital – how far is their round trip?).

    but mainly green issues is an excuse to reduce the now underfunded GP system burden of those requiring greater support.

    Her treatment is costing her nothing.
    I wonder how much it would cost in the US?

    A copy of the letter is posted here:

    http://teapartybase.com/2012/04/04/elderly-uk-woman-allegedly-forced-to-find-new-doctor-because-of-%E2%80%98carbon-footprint%E2%80%99/

  79. This should be strictly left to Podiatrists. Footprint and all.
    When someone speaks to me about “carbon footprints”, I always say. What about my carbon foot and the rest of my carbon body? Do I need offsets simply to exist?

  80. But if the citizens of the UK *like* being treated this way by their government and keep returning these people to office, who are we to judge? Personally, I believe it is absolutely nuts but it’s their country.

  81. We are [UK] a nation of box tickers and my suspicion would be that the lady in question gives the practice too many negative points. Suppose, for example, that the typical consultancy time per customer is five minutes and she takes up twenty five. Come “Excel time” 25/1 is a problem, 25/5 is a “pass” (20/5 is “progress”).

    The problem Mrs Mulcahy will have is that she has grown up viewing the doctor as not only a medical practitioner but as, especially at her age, someone to “chat” with. You visit once a week for both medical advice and to bad mouth your grandson who never comes to visit any more. Of course the Doctor she had previously is retired or dead and the new practice can’t even remember her name. Now she’s a drain on the exemplary statistics they are aiming to hand in to the bean counters next year.

    I’m just as bad (but not as old). The doctor I had into my late 20′s was the same one that cut the umbilical. My current “practice” isn’t so bad but there are one or two there that I avoid like the clap. Box tickers.

    Back to the “Carbon footprint”. I suspect that this was included by someone in serious need of a PR course. They would have no clue that they might become national news and even less that they would get to be a TLP at WUWT. I’m not defending them BTW – google “Westcliff-on-Sea surgeries” for a list of smiling faces (and their e-mail addresses) :^)

  82. “What a load of absolute tosh being spouted here”
    It is and it isn’t jjthomas. When the left Green quantitative control freaks attempted to create their climate controlled Utopia, it was inevitably vulnerable to massive private and public rorting. OTOH we’ve had the usual private sector rentseekers and carpetbaggers plundering the trough (picking off winners and turning them into taxeating losers) while OTO the public sector builds sociology departments and climate change empires, etc and naturally all that eventually filters down to local GP health clinics on the public drip. It’s all one big gravy train or excuse to justify whatever one can make fit into the green paradigm for one’s own convenience. You can’t blame a local GP clinic for taking the easy road of concern for the Planet to get rid of a problem patient, when all above them, every man and his dog is doing the same in a plethora of sanctimonious ways.

    Meanwhile the little bloke fed up with it all in the ether above him, latches on to the plight of a little old lady battling the ‘system’. She’s just a hot button focus for all that the little bloke knows is rotten in Denmark or Brussells or….?

  83. The Hypocritic Oath

    I swear by Mother Earth and Gaia and Algore, making them my witnesses, that I will fulfill according to my ability and judgment this oath and this covenant:

    I will respect the hard-won scientific gains of the IPCC in whose steps I walk, and gladly propagandize such knowledge as is mine with those who are to follow.

    I will apply, for the benefit of the planet, all measures that are required, avoiding those twin traps of denialhood and anarchic nihilism.

    I will remember that there is art to fascism as well as climate science, and that warmth, sympathy, and understanding have no place in the new world order.

    I will be ashamed to say “I know not”, and will not listen to skeptical opinion when climate science is in doubt.

    I will invade the privacy of my patients, and every aspect of their lives. Especially in matters of life and death. If it is given to me to save a life, I will judge their emission sins and weigh up their carbon footprint. But it may also be within my power to take a life; this awesome responsibility must be faced using the same criteria. Above all, I must play at God.

    I will remember that I do not treat a fever chart, a cancerous growth, but a sick planet, whose illness may affect all of us. My responsibility includes these related problems, if I am to care adequately for the sick.

    I will prevent carbon emissions whenever I can, for prevention is preferable to cure.

    I will remember that I remain a member of society with special obligations to all my fellow human beings, those sound of mind and body but not, of course, the deniers.

    If I do not violate this oath, may I enjoy life and nature, be respected while I live and remembered with affection thereafter. May I always act so as to preserve the biosphere and may I long experience the joy of curbing carbon emissions.

  84. I have experience of health care both sides of the pond and although in this case it may be that a spiteful, tactless GP does not know his Perineum from his Olecranon I still think the NHS has the best system. No it is not free it is paid for out of National Insurance contributions (tax) but when you require treatment you don’t have to worry about the cost. I know ‘Brits’ who have retired in ‘the States’ and can no longer afford health costs so returned to use the NHS.

  85. What next??? Maybe when a child falls down a well, they won’t rescue the child due to the carbon footprint required by the rescue equipment.

  86. There is no adequate response to this insanity, except to join the disbelieving, horrified chorus of others in an attempt to right this sinking ship. It is so troubling that I don’t even want to face the implications for humanity in this world gone mad.

  87. What I read between the lines was a bit different. What I read was the clinic was practicing “cost control”. At least in the US when a doctor’s office says, “We are no longer taking Medicare patients,” you know what’s happening. But when all patients are “Medicare patients”…

  88. Cathy says: April 6, 2012 at 9:48 am

    There is no adequate response to this insanity, except to join the disbelieving, horrified chorus of others in an attempt to right this sinking ship. It is so troubling that I don’t even want to face the implications for humanity in this world gone mad.

    World is no madder than it ever was. Pick up your gun soldier – fight for the future as your grandparents did. For sure you will never win utopia but you can always kick the s**t out of those heading in the other direction.

  89. Ah… the ‘carbon footprint’ is just another item in the list that get considered by the death panels. Yes, Sarah Palin was right all along.

  90. 2 mile round trip? No problem, if the temp requires no heat or air conditioning, a Volt might make it ;>

  91. Perhaps the bureaucrats are playing the Easy Points game. Eventually it will come around to them.

  92. Is there a database somewhere calculating everyone’s carbon foot print that general medical practitioners have access to? Even if Avril Mulcahy, 83, Walked the 2 mile round trip to her GP’s for the past 30 years wouldn’t be that remarkable compared to if she were to drive our get the bus there.
    The nearest GP to where I live is a 19 mile round trip on a bus, which takes 4 buses to get there and back. I checked! to drive it’s a 7-8 mile round trip which actually reduces my so called ‘carbon foot print’. funny how that works! BTW I haven’t had to visit a medical professional in over 15 years, luckily for me I’ve had a good run health wise, but If I were ever to seek medical assistance it is horrifying to think that because of where I currently live (the middle of nowhere) is now a factor in receiving it.
    Oh Waite, my cousin is a medical doctor, I gave her a ring just a second ago and she told me that this carbon foot print nonsense is in fact nonsense.

  93. I remember the UK from 40 years ago when everybody complained, with justification, about the shop girls. Looks like the shop girls are running the NHS. I tried to find the offending surgery on Google Earth, taking the “Estates” document as my clue. You know, the part about building new facilities and getting out of renovated houses, etc. No luck on the new facility at 12 West Road, Westcliff-on-Sea. Victorian is more like it.

  94. @David Ross says:

    The Hypocritic Oath

    I swear by Mother Earth and Gaia and Algore, making them my witnesses, that I will fulfill according to my ability and judgment this oath and this covenant:

    I will respect the hard-won scientific gains of the IPCC in whose steps I walk, and gladly propagandize such knowledge as is mine with those who are to follow.

    I will apply, for the benefit of the planet, all measures that are required, avoiding those twin traps of denialhood and anarchic nihilism….

    The AGW Creed

    appointed to be read at all environmental conferences

    I believe in Global Warming,
    which will destroy heaven and earth unless we change our ways.
    I believe in Al Gore,
    Who conceived the Internet
    and the hockey-stick graph, born of Professor Mann.
    It suffered under McIntyre and McKitrick,
    was crucified, disproven, and was buried.
    It was cast on the reject pile.
    On the third day It rose again.
    It was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science,
    and is displayed in a prominent position in all IPCC literature.
    It will apply again as soon as global temperatures start rising.
    I believe in the CO2 tipping point,
    the IPCC Assessment Reports,
    a CO2 sensitivity figure of about 3 W/sq M,
    the accuracy of GCMS,
    an anthropic cause for all climate variation after 1970,
    and grants everlasting.

    AMEN.

  95. Granny, (83,) makes complaint..

    Practice manager, (read bureaucrat,) : Will rid me of this turbulent patient?

    Make the patient the one at fault but Granny’s having none of it!

    DaveE.

  96. Shouldn’t she have been given the option of buying some carbon offset to allow her the 2-mile round trip instead of forcing her to register with a new GP? I’m sure she could afford it with carbon prices in freefall.

  97. 3×2 says:
    “World is no madder than it ever was. Pick up your gun soldier – fight for the future as your grandparents did. For sure you will never win utopia but you can always kick the s**t out of those heading in the other direction.”

    Thanks, 3X2 . . . . I needed that. And your damn** tootin’ I had an ancestor who survived Andersonville and my father stormed bloody Omaha Beach with his gun crew, fought in the Battle of the Bulge and came home to rock me in his arms 9 months later.
    ‘Once more unto the breach’ !

  98. the bigger point here is how comfortable the person was using carbon footprint as an excuse to deny medical care.
    get away from the “it was an excuse or not” memes, the fact someone was comfortable saying this is BAD.

  99. Worry when the talk is of ‘energy footprints’ rather than ‘carbon footprints’.
    ================

  100. Jessie says:
    April 6, 2012 at 2:07 am
    O/T
    I had known the icon as belonging to Hermes, God of Cunning & Commerce, not medicine.

    As below
    Today, two serpent motifs are commonly used to symbolize the practice and profession of medicine. Internationally, the most popular symbol of medicine is the single serpent–entwined staff of Asklepios (Latin, Aesculapius), the ancient Greco-Roman god of medicine. However, in the United States, the staff of Asklepios (the Asklepian) and a double serpent–entwined staff with surmounting wings (the caduceus) are both popular medical symbols. The latter symbol is often designated as the “medical caduceus” and is equated with the ancient caduceus, the double serpent–entwined staff of the Greco-Roman god Hermes (Latin, Mercury). Many physicians would be surprised to learn that the medical caduceus has a quite modern origin: Its design is derived not from the ancient caduceus of Hermes but from the printer’s mark of a popular 19th-century medical publisher. Furthermore, this modern caduceus became a popular medical symbol only after its adoption by the U.S. Army Medical Corps at the beginning of the 20th century. This paper describes the ancient origin of the Asklepian and how a misunderstanding of ancient mythology and iconography seems to have led to the inappropriate popularization of the modern caduceus as a medical symbol.
    The Symbol of Modern Medicine: Why One Snake Is More Than Two*
    Annals of Internal Medicine (2003) April 15 V138
    source: Ref 1 wiki article

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rod_of_Asclepius#cite_note-AIM-0

    ==========================

    You can thank Hezikiah for your association of the serpent with Hermes of cunning and deception.., from his time the serpent was changed from association with wisdom and healing to the devil and cunning, and God in the OT became single. Asherah, symbolised by the pole and associated with the serpent and lion, was the wife of El the chief God at the time of Abraham when he first came to Jerusalem, the then City of Peace, and worshipped in the Temple. She remained the Mother of the gods/God the Mother as wife of the main God even with the Yahweh change; also known as the Shekinah, Wisdom, the Tree of Life. When Jeremiah went to Egypt and castigated the Jewish women there blaming the Babylonian events on her worship by the women in still offering cakes and wine, the women retorted that he was full of it, that the princes of Jerusalem had always worshipped her and while they had done so there had been peace there.

    King James 2000 Bible (©2003)
    And the LORD said unto Moses, Make you a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looks upon it, shall live.

    Until Hezekiah destroyed it: http://bible.cc/2_kings/18-4.htm

    http://jwa.org/encyclopedia/article/asherahasherim-bible

    http://www.dhushara.com/book/orsin/asherah.htm

    The association of the serpent with wisdom didn’t cease among the Jews, “be wise as serpents, gentle as doves”.

  101. Hmm … why would a Jolly Green GP practice in the UK need air conditioners hanging out back? I wonder what’s been done about those 9″ solid brick walls with a U-value of about 2.0 W/m2, must cost a packet to heat the place in winter. A fresh coat of paint wouldn’t go amiss either. Green would look nice.

    I think you must mean Hypocritical Oath, Anthony. :-)

  102. but then… I read USA docs are refusing to treat or list patients that refuse vaccinations..
    and so far, they are NOT mandatory nor should they ever be so.
    nurses and docs fired due to refusal to take flu shots.
    where both species are in short supply..

  103. Carbon footprint or not, why hasn’t she signed on to the nearest GP? It’s barking mad that is.

  104. @ Steve C – would that be the hospital just across the river valley from a certain rather dodgy University? If it is, my understanding is the site was chosen because it’s also close to the private BUPA hospital, and the consultants wanted to be near their “other” place of work…

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