Sunburn, obesity, smoker’s cough - are patients a bit thick or have public health campaigns failed miserably?
Patients suffering from ailments that are arguably self-inflicted or easily preventable is nothing new - barely a day goes by without a news story about binge drinking, overeating, or other lapses in basic self-preservation.
Always the misanthrope, Beyond the Bedpan is personally in the “let them suffer” camp. The UK is plastered with public health posters, TV ads and websites - surely by now it’s sink or swim.
Or maybe you disagree. Apart from sticking yet another poster on the side of a bus, is there some way the health service could help excessive sunbathers, smokers and drug-takers without breaking the bank?
Perhaps instead of drugs and surgery, you could start sending patients off with a pat on the back and a prescription for a preservation instinct. Here are a few things they could try, just for starters:
- stand back from the edge of cliffs
- cut up large foods (eg courgettes and carrots) before eating
- open doors before attempting to pass through them
- hold knives and forks by their blunt ends
- and, for crying out loud, listen to nurses when they give you advice
Well, have you got a better idea?