A white paper on healthcare reform

Day T-2 - Delhi

I've no love for private healthcare. For all its myriad imperfections the NHS can stand proudly (if not literally) next to the Great Pyramid as one of humankind's greatest wonders and most transcendent creations. Having been in the Indian health industry's life pricing clutches for the best part of a month i'm left faintly disappointed. For all intents and purposes and since I have insurance (thanks ma!) this experience differs very little from the one I would have had if I had thrown myself from a train back in the UK (or a less impossible but equally deleterious deed). Surely they're missing a trick here? My treatment won't be cheap but it has been standard, where are my choices? Wheres the menu Doc?
I guess i'm getting the best the hospital offers but how can I be sure unless there are clearly deliniated tiers of care? Health tourism is growing massively not least in the Subcontinent but apart from competitive prices whats the USP? The array of Doctors i've seen have done sterling work on my flayed leg and mutilated foot and my physical health has been most excellently attended to. The neglect lies with my mental health. Recovery is dull, long, unvarying, an unnecessary imposition on a person's receding idea of normality. The answer(s)? Keep reading.
Any person upon inflicting a heinous wound upon themselves (or possibly having said wound inflicted upon them, I only speak from personal experience) would surely dream of closing their eyes and on waking finding themselves fully restored, or at least restored to the extent that modern medicine permits. Induced comas must be the answer! My last month could have been passed in blissful ignorance of gaping, vacuumed heels, extensive skin grafts and modesty shredding ablutions. So theres our top notch offering right there "your family are weeping but you're sleeping!" (n.b this line needs work). The next option down the list might involve consciousness but a consciousness greatly enhanced. My last month was relatively pain free but barring a couple of pre general anaesthetic sedatives failed to be really mood lifting. For all the painkillers they've shovelled down my neck none have cheered my drearier days, none have expanded my mind. I thought I saw a familiar friend in the little vials of Tramadol amongst my cornucopia of chemical adulterants. Alas it seems a poor cousin to the stuff the NHS bunged me after a broken knee - back then I gently floated in seas of tranquility with the soft ripples of time trickling between my toes and caressing my outstretched fingertips. Imagine such relaxation combined with the occasional bed bath and you've practically got a spa. Perhaps spas could be the pioneers in this development of the industry? They already have the cucumber slices, get some doctors on the books, a job lot of morphine, a.....do you need a license to practise medicine over here?....i'm gonna say no, and you're set.
The next tier of treatment would be the one that I am currently receiving. The physical repairs are competant, the equal of those on 'Gold' and 'Silver' services (aforementioned) but you make your own entertainment here, you might be staring at the sky but there ain't no diamonds and its Lucy's day off. I'm afraid your recovery will be in what we call 'realtime'. A little like prison you'll have to serve every second of your sentence (n.b don't use ANY of this in the advertising materials). There will be drugs, painkillers you shall have but only enough to, well, kill the pain. Euphoria is off. Our Doctors will aim to maintain a status quo with regard to your pain, angst or suffering, you should experience no more than you would on an average (injury free) day. Bronze service might be long, it might be tedious beyond reason, it might result in some sort of psychological breakdown (which we can treat, for a fee) but you are saving the rupees.
The final tier is 'Lead' (might need to think of a non-toxic metal to represent this service) and is our most 'interactive' level of care. You're familiar with how everyone becomes an amateur Doctor when you have an ailment? Well silence their baseless and ill-informed pronouncements with some real hands on medical experience of your own, physician heal thyself! The Lead service keeps costs to a minimum by allowing the patient to take charge of their own wellbeing. As a patient you've seen your bandages changed a hundred times, "I could do that myself!" you say to yourself. With this tier of service you will be doing it yourself! No longer will you be a helpless bystander to your own recovery you'll be in the thick of the action 'getting your hands dirty' (latex gloves will be provided at extra cost). Doctors and Nurses can be hired by the hour (discounted rates for operations >3 hours) so you can keep in control of your costs and customise a healing programme to suit your needs. Do you need minor surgery? Can you assist? Then dispense with the support staff! The only limit to the money that can be saved is you (and your ability to stay conscious). There will likely be numerous legal waivers required with Lead tier and possibly some basic medical accreditation but I can see it revolutionising the medical industry. If you can sew a ripped seam you can suture a gashed leg.
I am convinced the future of consumer medicine has just been conceived. There are options to suit all budgets and tastes. Wanna sit the whole thing out? Go Gold and dream it all away. Wanna soar above it all? Go Silver and recline on fluffy clouds. Wanna read a lot of books and eat bad food? Go Bronze and count the hours. Got no money and nothing to lose (except your life)? Go Lead and pick up a scalpel. 

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