It is often very difficult to get to grips with health statistics published in the “National” press & media as the statistics have been researched in England.
However, I think that even in the absence of statistics or research that are solely about Scotland, maybe one could extrapolate that English research, that Scotland might be experiencing similar problems at a lower proportion simply because of population size and dispersal.
Today (14 May 2019) , for example, there is a story on the BBC about Dentists in England who “fine” their patients for claiming free dental treatment by allegedly stating they are on a particular benefit.
There is clearly a problem as the UK Government seek to stop fraud or corruption by patients and indeed Dentists who “drill for gold”. This link is to the media & press website of the NHS Counter Fraud Authority where it regularly publishes press releases on the wrongdoings of dentists amongst others.
The story from the BBC today, states : “The National Audit Office has examined concerns about people being wrongly fined over claiming free treatment, particularly involving visits to the dentist, when they really were eligible.
The public spending watchdog, examining penalty notices since 2014, found 30% of the fines levied were subsequently withdrawn, representing £188m in fines that had been wrongly issued.
Dentists have warned it is often vulnerable people, such as those with learning difficulties and disabilities, those on low incomes or carers bringing relatives with dementia, who get caught in the fining system.
“This is not a system that is working as it should,” said Meg Hillier, who chairs the Public Accounts Committee.
“The NHS must take urgent steps if it is to avoid causing unnecessary distress to patients, tripped
up by an overly complex system, who end up facing large penalty charges.”
This advice is also published in a leaflet – , HCS2 – which is usually found at various public sites such surgeries and Jobcentres. You can read the leaflet here or download it in PDF format.
Another story today is about Diabetes and the underlying effect of trying to cope with the condition.
“Diabetes Scotland has now issued a series of demands to both the government and NHS boards. The Scottish government said it recognised the challenges faced by people living with the condition.
The charity said people with the condition were twice as likely to experience depression yet, across the UK, 40% of GPs say they are not likely to ask about emotional wellbeing and mental health in routine diabetes appointments.
And less than a third (30%) of family doctors believes there is enough emotional and psychological support for people with the condition, according to a survey.”
The long –term problems of Diabetes are well known and the condition can lead to stroke, amputations, blindness, vascular & cardiac problems, along with the daily struggle of maintaining balance in one’s body through diet, can and does affect people to the point of depression and despair. Other people who are more resilient simply get on with their lives. However the effect of this daily struggle can affect some in their performance at work, with disabling depression, and an inability to function well.
As a diabetic myself, I can vouch for the lack of support, as “Diabetic Clinics “ were taken over by GP surgeries. People can struggle and have their whole life turned upside down as depression, fear, and the constant daily regimen to keep glucose levels at the “correct” level affects their lives. This is an unseen or hidden disability, and society and media usually blame lifestyle for type 2 Diabetes ( Diabetes Mellitus) , particularly as the obesity crisis continues. Blaming someone for their illness does not help.
There are many reasons why some people develop diabetes, and for further reading please visit Diabetes Scotland.