Thanks for dropping round. One of the issues I’ve been looking at over the lifetime of PatientTalk.Org is that of healthcare reform. In particular the whole issue of Obamacare and its impact on US politics. Indeed there has always been some scepticism about Obamacare as you can see from the results of this poll.
So we thought it would be useful to see if what you our readers think about the impact of Obamacare or the Affordable Care Act. So what do you think? Please do take part in our poll and share any further thoughts you have in the comments section below.
An investigation by the Press Association news agency found that a third of hospital trusts in England have increased their car parking charges in the last year. The analysis combines figures obtained from NHS Trusts and data submitted to NHS Digital (formerly the Health and Social Care Information Centre).
This investigation comes one year on from Carers UK’s analysis of data released by the Health and Social Care Information Centre  which showed that the percentage of hospitals charging patients and visitors to park has doubled in a decade (15% in 2004-05 to 30% in 2014-15). Further analysis by the charity also revealed that of the NHS hospital Trusts in England that charge patients and visitors for parking, 63% had increased their charges since the previous year (2014).
Carers UK’s analysis underpinned the charity’s Park the Charges campaign, working with Julie Cooper MP to make hospital parking free for carers in England . The campaign led to the Department of Health updating its guidance on hospital parking charges to specifically include carers – for the very first time – as a group for which concessions, such as free or reduced charges or caps, should be available.
In response to the Press Association’s investigation, Emily Holzhausen, Director of Policy and Public Affairs at Carers UK, said:
“This is a real issue for families of people who have long-term conditions or are severely disabled and need frequent or long hospital visits. Paying the costs of car parking just adds to the stresses of caring for a family member or close friend who is ill or disabled and can push families who need a lot of hospital visits into financial hardship. Some of the stories from families show just how stressful it is – families on low incomes are forced into debt by excessive car parking charges, whilst others worry about how they will pay when their relative is seriously-ill.
“In some rural areas, cars are essential to get people to hospital and for others, public transport is not an option because they are simply too ill or it is impractical. This issue needs to be urgently re-examined by NHS Trusts. It’s absolutely essential that hospital trusts look at ensuring carers, in particular, are exempt from paying charges. Ideally, we would like all car parking fees to be scrapped and follow Wales and Scotland where hospital car parking is free of charge.
“We’d advise all carers to get in touch with their NHS Trust, find out what the exemptions are, and, if they don’t have an exemption for carers, point them in the direction of the Department of Health guidance which has recently been updated to specifically include carers as a group that should be given discounts or exemptions.”
The average individual visits the doctor’s office, or even hospital at least one time per year. Our visits can range, from routine checkups, to more invasive procedures that obligate us to visit the doctor’s office. Regardless of your reason, visiting the doctor’s office or hospital is almost necessary to ensure you are healthy and can overcome any illnesses that you may be facing.
Doctors and nurses have a very important job- they need to ensure all patients that walk through their door are treated properly and leave their facility on the road to recovery. It’s a doctor’s job to ensure our society is safe from sickness, and disease. Doctors and nurses handle all types of obstacles- from physical imperfections or injury, to internal disease and mental health. As a doctor, you have a lot to be held accountable for!
But, are there things that are currently enforced within these facilities that could be improved upon? Are there things that your family doctor does that could consequently affect your health and well being, if they aren’t completed properly?
As patients visit the doctor’s office, they will be bombarded with signs that warn of the dangers associated with germs. Usually, handwashing advertisements are posted on almost every door. The signs warn patients who may be coughing or have sneezed recently- that they should be sure their hands are thoroughly cleaned before touching other things. These signs and advertisements are especially prevalent during the cooler winter months, when illnesses tend to break out much easier.
Next time you visit your family doctor, take special note of these areas. Additionally, inspect your doctor’s behavior. Are there areas they could improve upon? Sometimes, doctors may forget to wear gloves when first visiting a sick patient. Though they can easily wash their hands after handling patients, wouldn’t it be better to wear gloves in the first place? Sickness can easily spread this way.
Additionally, ensuring medical devices and equipment are thoroughly and properly cleaned can ensure disease and sickness are not being spread. Most doctors office have standards and protocols set forth to ensure all nurses practice this behavior, but it is something to keep in mind when visiting your doctor.
The most important way we can keep others safe while visiting the doctor’s office is to spread the word, and educate patients. Regularly washing your hands while touching objects within the doctor’s office can help to keep you and your family safe during your visit.
Additionally, if you work in a doctor’s office, educate your staff about the dangers associated with unsanitary behaviors. Practice safe behaviors and actions in front of them, with hopes that they will adopt this way of thinking into their practices with patients.
Additionally, doctors should implement more education when it comes to informing patients, into their routines. Patients cannot be educated enough, and following up to check on their progress and how they are doing after a procedure should be commonplace. Some doctors and nurses regularly practice this, but there are still many that do not.
Another excellent way to keep patients safe, and reduce medical malpractice is to require more extensive training for nurses and doctors. As most always say, more learning can never hurt.
Doctors and nurses should be required to take more “refresher” types of courses, to brush up on certain skills or knowledge they have but may not regularly practice everyday. Conducting seminars with other local doctors and medical professionals in the area can allow our doctors and nurses to collaborate with other practices, and learn from the standards and procedures they commonly practice. Networking, and having an open level of communication to those who are within similar occupations will always help professionals to grow into stronger, more knowledgeable individuals.
Next time you take a visit to the doctors, be sure you are noting some of the common practices set forth by those we heavily rely on for our well being and health. Are hands being washed as much as they should be? Is the equipment being used sanitary and safe to utilize? Have I washed my hands before and after visiting the doctors? What can my doctor do to improve his practice and treatment process?