Choc’s Away: To Wellness – The Affordable Health Revolution
News from across the water is that Simon Stevens the NHS Tsar/Grand Fromage/Big Buddha is banning Big Choc in his fight against Billy Big Belly – it’s an epidemic he’s spied, wide-eyed, across hospital corridors. In future, sweet things, you will not be able to get any monster sized, gormed in choc chip, nut brittle, Kit Kats. If you want an extra finger at 2.00 a.m. you’ll now have to go elsewhere. Apparently hospitals are no longer to be ‘open all hours’ places for sponsored gorge-a-thons, those ‘eat ‘em up Eric’ type behaviours. Seems finally, that Mr Stevens in his FatSplaining rhetoric is stuffed to the gills seeing Billy and Beatrice Bunter on his wards. It seems ‘firm and decisive’ is in, but perhaps, some observe, he has left his cloak (and red underpants?) at reception. His ground shaking, double chin reducing revolution has, wait for it… drum roll, trumpet serenade: banned any confectionary over 250 calories from being flogged in any of his hospital shops. “Nurse, never mind the screens, stand down the gastric band and liposuction teams and fire up the P45’s for all those heart surgeons we no longer need”. That’s it, poptastic and some – gaining us slimmed down, balanced budgets before 2.05 a.m.
A generation ago, Tammy Wynette ‘sang’: No Charge – since then we have morphed into a brave new world, one where ‘hospital visitors are customers’ is a new mantra. So, while you’re making that Florence Nightingalesque ‘dusk dash’ to get Grannie her clean knickers – Clipboard Colin lurks Dick Turpin style, behind his £10 per minute parking barrier. Less, ‘stand and deliver’ more ‘crawl and be thankful’.
Meanwhile, turning the other cheek – and plenty of it, let’s look the other way across the Pond. An interesting item fired up this week: a mini vid from a US University (nice teeth guys) extolling three things, in this order: 1) “we do surgery”, 2) “you take meds”, 3) “we now offer better food advice, recognising the role of nutrition and lifestyle in medicine”. Strikes me, Sherlock, that the bronze medal place be switched, to save some gold. Food, an afterthought of contributional harms, “who’d a thunk it, Doc”. Imagine if, creatively swiping the saying of RxISK.org it was not so much: ‘could it be my meds?’ but in the Weird World of Wellness it was: ‘could it be my food?’. In Vermont, shock horror, they’ve just started rewarding Doc’s to keep folks (how do we say this, in non-threatening Che Guevara style)…Well. Yes, paying professionals to see less sick folk, by educating them Well out of the waiting room, surgery and recovery wards. That’s nutty Vermont revolutionaries for you.
In the internet age we can stand on the shoulders of giants of yesteryear: ‘if we don’t learn from history we are consigned to repeat it’… That Hippocrates you know, I’ve got all his records and his tree etchings from a while back “let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food”. His other, long playing classic was: “don’t make money in the sick room” which also did well in the charts – but sadly, not so, in the real world. With the Inuit and Masai both doing well on mainly animal food diets, so it’s not just: plant based, nor Mediterranean, nor Paleo, nor Pioppi diets that have all the answers – though the latter Italian Village doesn’t count a single diabetic among its residents. As humans, we’re environmentally adaptive, but just not well suited to consuming junk food in quantity. You have ‘junk’ and you have ‘food’, but sadly in some Government locations, you now have both – they come as a package. Sponsorship is like that too, a short term gain ignoring long term pain – with those who come later picking up the bill(s). While others, busy themselves picking up the votes.
So, with Mr Stevens firing a water pistol for the Wellness Revolution, one that aims to keep those corridors a flowin’ maybe he could go one stage further and think: now what if we helped keep people Well so they didn’t need the ‘Health’ service? What if we interviewed those we never normally see – ‘The Well’ and found what keeps them, well: Well? What if WellSpan was our sole focus, not an ever costlier: meds to the max, LifeSpan? That Biological Wellness is finally climbing aboard The Mallard is evident – we’ve chuffed around for far too long and are finally breaking free of a steam aged mindset. Chemical Health is like that, being ultimately inefficient and seeking a far off destination based mainly on hot air. Now that, Biologically Based Beauties, is a fun sized Bounty worth pondering at 1.59 a.m.