THE NHS is on its knees.
Junior doctors are about to go on strike and wards are being overrun by a new wave of Covid and flu.
But don’t worry, guys, help is at hand: You and I.
Forget Dr Google, more than one in five of us are now self-diagnosing and ordering our own medication without going to a doctor.
Which, make no bones about it, is terrifying.
Online pharmacies, with all the checks and balances of a five-year-old at a pick ’n’ mix counter, are dishing out meds like, well, sweets.
A new nationwide survey shows that 21 per cent of us have resorted to buying medication online or at a pharmacy without first getting our doctor’s advice.
Unable to see their local GP, desperate patients have turned to the worldwide web to see what’s wrong with them.
Who needs someone with seven years at med school behind them when TikTok or Quora will tell you precisely what’s wrong?
Easy to con
Having trouble concentrating? You’ve got ADHD.
Feeling a little blue after hitting the espresso martinis a bit hard? No, no, not a hangover — that’s depression, mate.
Have some tablets.
Among those polled, 16 per cent went to A&E because they couldn’t get a surgery appointment; ie, taking up an invaluable appointment because of a nasty tickle.
Of course, with junior doctors ready to embark on another crippling strike for six days from Wednesday, taking out the middle man may seem a good idea.
But it’s not.
The problem is that people are securing potentially health-endangering medication for a condition that may well exist simply in their head.
The other problem is just how easy it is to con the rapidly growing sector that is the online pharmacy.
Last year I tried to get my paws on the fat jab.
After filling in various forms, and telling the AI practitioner I was a not-inconsiderable 19st (the reality is ten stone less), both Ozempic and Wegovy were farmed out to me within 48 hours.
One came back to me asking for a photo — proof of heft, if you like — and I shoved a pillow up my jumper. And away we went.
The results were not pretty.
I was violently sick for 24 hours. The first bout of vomiting occurred on a packed commuter train to the office, which saw me delicately retching into a Waitrose bag for life, much to the understandable dis- gust of my fellow travellers.
That night I was sick every hour, on the hour, until 6am. I still have flashbacks.
I was the lucky one, though.
My friend’s wife lied about her weight and then misread the pamphlet instructions.
She was so ill that she lost a stone in five days and was hospitalised.
To this day, she can’t read the words “fat jab” without getting PTSD (self-diagnosed, obvs).
We need our doctors and nurses.
They have a wealth of invaluable experience and are ethically bound not to prescribe something we don’t need, something that could very well harm us.
These selfless professionals are the lifeblood of this country, the touchstone of the National Health Service.
More must be done to get people face to face with their GP: Our lives depend upon it.
STILL WORK TO DO
WOMEN’S sport, we can all agree, has come on in leaps and bounds over the past decade.
But one area that still needs a LOT of work – and paperwork – is the thorny issue of trans competitors.
Women risk being excluded from their own sports, with more and more male-to-female athletes going head to head with biological females.
We all know the science – and it’s not fair.
Last week, former top swimmer Sharron Davies said: “Elite females that have given all of their life up to their training are being beaten by very mediocre male athletes.”
Sharron, who missed out on Olympic gold to the state-doped, testosterone-enhanced East German Petra Schneider in 1980, knows what she’s talking about.
Of course, the majority of trans athletes, who have battled internal struggles their entire lives, just want to compete in a sport they love and feel included.
And that’s something regulatory bodies must be mindful of.
But at the top level, it simply isn’t fair – and new rules must be introduced before it’s too late.
HOSPITALS have seen a surge of patients seeking help for broken penises.
What a sentence.
With men wincing everywhere, some 18,592 blokes limped into A&E with “penis problems” – up a third on the previous year.
In the interests of equality, the number of patients with “vagina issues” also shot up 30 per cent.
More worryingly, more than 1,500 people John Wayned in with a “foreign object” in their bottoms.
The mind boggles.
Communist mole at Beeb? It’s Cilla Bloc
SURPRISE, Surprise . . . Cilla Black was a Communist spy!
Yup, double takes all round today after a photo emerged of Terezia Javorska, a former director of the BBC World Service’s Slovak section.
The ex-Beeb employee was unearthed as an undercover agent in the Eighties, exchanging code words about film directors and arranging meetings at opera houses.
A MOOT PINT . . .
TANGIBLE proof that health fads are just that – fads.
Demand for trendy oat, soy and almond milks is contributing to people with vitamin deficiencies, a new study has shown.
According to NHS data, hospital admissions have nearly tripled over the past ten years.
The other day my friend, when ordering a latte, was offered an array of said fancy milks.
Frustrated, she requested “plain ol’ cow”.
The (young) barista looked at her as if she’d casually done a Heil Hitler salute.
After piling on an impressive half stone in December, it’s Dry(ish) January for me, and a return to the gym.
However, a new study suggests it’s better to hold off on your Fitness First membership until the spring because, apparently, we’re more likely to stick to it.
Just Dry(ish) Jan, then.
RYANAIR stopped a teenager from travelling to Spain with his parents because he had a tiny rip in his passport.
Ryanair, with the PR nous of a slug, said: “This passenger was correctly refused travel.”
Why, in 2024, we are still physically reliant on little books for travel is baffling.
In an increasingly digitalised world, surely this painful, queue-inducing anachronism can be dispensed with.
MAKES ME SICK
SICK-note Britain has reached peak levels.
The number of young people out of work due to long-term “illness” has doubled since 2010, adding a projected £7BILLION to the annual benefits bill.
Much of this is mental health related.
The next government, most likely Labour, would do well to clamp down on it.
Yes, yes, it’s great we now take mental health concerns seriously but, increasingly, 18 to 24-year-olds are, well, taking the p***.
And it’s us, the taxpayer, footing their Netflix ’n’ chill.