Doctors at Newham University Hospital have been chatting with diabetic patients by Skype. If you don't know what Skype is, watch Back To The Future 2. Go on, we'll wait. Ok, watched it? You know that scene where Future Marty's talking to his boss on the phone but they can see each other on big screens? Well, that's basically what Skype does. The future is now.
The purpose of the trial is to try and cut down on missed appointments which, according to The Telegraph, cost the UK government about £800m a year. So far, the trial has seen an 11% drop in missed appointments which is pretty impressive, but we've come up with another idea that we think is amazeballs. You get charged for overdue library books, cancelling a holiday and missing an appointment at Aunt Kevin's Massage Parlour, so why not charge people for cancelling doctor's appointments?
But don't charge them money - bill them for something everyone has whether they be rich or poor. Yes, blood. Miss one appointment and you owe the NHS one pint of blood. Miss two appointments and you owe them two pints. Miss three appointments...you get the idea. Maybe the blood banks could be set up in car parks alongside the recycling bins and used johnnies.
And, of course, to hunt down patients on the run from giving blood you'd need to hire a crack squad of, um, blood police...the A Team, O Team, AB Team...or something. Ok, maybe we need to think it through a bit more before we present it to David Cameron but you get the general idea.
But until our Patient's Pint law gets passed in Parliament, we think Skypeing the doc is a great idea. After all, everyone knows that the magazines in medical waiting rooms carry more germs than a plague-riddled rat that someone's used as a toilet brush in a portaloo at the Reading Festival, so anything that keeps us away from them is good.
Having an online chat also means you can avoid looking the doctor in the eye as you weave a tall tale about how you caught that STI from a swimming costume you borrowed from your cousin, although the age old "cough please" test will be a little bit trickier when they're not, ahem, on hand to do their half of the procedure.
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