Archive for the ‘Swin Flu’ Tag
Swine Flu may have caused panic around the world and tested the organisational powers of many health services but it is also providing an economic boost to many commercial sectors. The makers of Tamiflu, are obviously benefiting from the huge increase in dispensing and the vaccine manufacturers will benefit once the current trials are complete and approval is received from the Medicines Agency. Telecommunications companies have also generated more income from setting up and running the call centres which aim to reduce the workload of GPs.
Now the GPs will be benefiting from the fees they will receive for administering the swine flu vaccine. At present GPs get £7.51 for each vaccination they undertake including the seasonal flu vaccinations. That equates to a total fee of £100 million to treat 13 million people, the current estimate for how many will be in the risk category. That is £3,000 per GP, not bad going for the caring profession. But then with GPs able to earn over £200,000 a year the idea of it being a caring profession has long gone.
The new GP contract introduced six years ago reduce a GP’s workload but increased their pay by a substantial amount. It also re-emphasised the system of paying GPs for the individual services they provide in addition to their NHS contract fee. Each time the government want to introduce a new initiative of health screening programme the GPs seek a few for providing the service. The cost is getting so high the government will eventually have to call a halt, then we shall see why people become GPs, for compassion or cash?
I was in Toronto airport when the Sars (not quite an epidemic) reached Canada. There was a sense of ‘we are not going to be cowered down by this’ around the place even though the press was full of horror stories. Six years later there are occasional reports of Sars cases but its just another disease of little interest. Now we have Swine Flu spreading across the world and claiming the lives of people in Mexico, the original source of the infection.
There have been Flu pandemics in the past, but now we have better healthcare, a better understanding of how it spreads and better communications between healthcare professionals and governments. That has not stopped the media filling the airwaves and newspapers with horror stories and scary headlines. The reaction in Mexico is understandable considering that all the deaths have been among the Mexican victims.
However, the rest of the world seems to be getting a little worked up over the possibility of something major occurring. I don’t wish to belittle the issue but is this an over reaction or just an excuse to divert attention away from all the other problems we are currently facing. Time will tell, but as the cases identified outside of Mexico all seem to be less severe, its an interesting thought.