This morning I consumed an entire box of Kleenex tissues mopping up copious tears of sympathy as I listened to a radio spokesperson for doctors telling me that some inconsiderate patients like you and me are presenting with more than one ailment at a time.
Apparently some of us have had the audacity to arrive at their thoroughly disinfected hygienic portals with up to FOUR things wrong with us at the same time.
Why was the good doctor so aggravated?
Did she not understand that the foot bone is connected to the ankle bone, and the ankle bone is connected to the leg bone, ad nauseum, and that it is entirely feasible that a foot malfunction can also be accompanied by pain in the hip joint and at other points in the skeletal and muscular system.
I have taken the uneducated liberty of assuming also that a circulatory deficiency in the heart might simultaneously manifest itself with symptoms masquerading as separate ailments in other organs and tissues throughout the body.
It is just possible that the body might benefit from assessment of it as a whole, rather than a collection of individually treatable parts.
Now I am in a generous mood and will assume doctors already know these things along with thousands of other things that I do not.
So what was this spokesperson really angling for?
Maybe doctors think $55 per 10 minute appointment is inadequate remuneration for their workload.
$330 per hour may be insufficient to trade up to a new model Mercedes Benz again this year.
Perhaps $55 per symptom would fix their problem.
Now there's an idea that might just jolt a few people into taking health matters a little more seriously, if it is linked with some restrictions to avoid the common abuses of Australia's generous health care rebate system.
We would then not run off to the doctor at the first sign of a sniffle ($55 thanks) or sneeze (oops there goes another $55 thank you), but I would suggest that an increased fee structure needs to go hand in hand with one more thing.
Doctors need to be sent off to work with my car mechanic for a month and be taught how to tell the truth to patients.
If I deliberately fill my truck up with cheap contaminated fuel, before overloading it to twice the recommended gross weight, then subsequently break some springs and shock absorbers, before blowing a head gasket and big end bearing chugging my way up the next hill, my mechanic will tell me how much of a bloody idiot I have been before presenting me with the exhorbitant bill to repair all the damage I stupidly inflicted on my own vehicle.
Doctors similarly need to start handing out some tough lovin', especially if they are as overworked and underpaid as they suggest.
Stop mollycoddling those patients who refuse to do anything to help themselves.
And for my own final medical evaluation, rather than receiving some smokescreen of polite medical bullshit and being sent on some futile expensive program of limited life extension, I would prefer my doctor to tell me;
"GOF, your entire fuel, lubrication and exhaust systems are worn out and totally stuffed, your chassis is fractured and the synapses in your electronic control box have fused through devious misuse.
You are not worth fixing.
Take yourself off home and wait for the Eternal Towtruck to deliver you to whichever wreckers yard is closest."
The message from this disjointed dissertation is this;
I know most doctors are well intentioned, but the world desperately needs them to become more actively involved in preventive medicine, dietary guidance, lifestyle advice and holistic health care.
And they should cease the practice of pussyfooting around the truth when it needs to be told, and stop wasting resources on those who are able, yet refuse to help themselves.