Where Are We Going With This?

Article by Steve Harvey, Director Impromptu

I watched two compelling, and interrelated, documentaries over the last few days. The first was called ‘The Doctor who gave up drugs’ presented by Dr Chris van Tulleken. There is no question that the documentary was flawed and often superficial, but it raises serious and complex questions about our reliance on prescription medicines, which, evidence suggests, in many cases, do no good and, in some, it appears, are actively harmful. The programme reflects a perspective of transactional healthcare where, particularly in general practice, mutual expectation of both clinician and practitioner, is one of a dispensing service, offering short-term relief, at the expense of long-term resolution, at enormous cost.

The second documentary, Panorama’s ‘Diabetes: the hidden killer’, presented a gloomy picture of the impact of type two diabetes on sufferers, on the healthcare system and society in general. The numbers are staggering, of sufferers and cost, and the progression is rampant, affecting more and more people, earlier, and with severe consequences. Watching the gangrenous foot of a patient being literally sawn off in an emergency ‘guillotine’ amputation, is stomach churning, shocking and deeply arresting.

Both documentaries, it seems to me, say a lot about how we live our lives; ensnared as we so often are in a culture of expediency, quick fixes, convenience, ready pleasure and availability, and how easy it is to deny to ourselves the implications of these societal trends, to exist for now, and to ignore the future cost. On one level, it is hard not to judge. Both syndromes are preventable. We can choose to change things, to change ourselves to challenge, to buck the system. In practice, though, it’s not so easy to confront the reality that stares us in the face and do something different, be something different.

I am confident, as I write this, that I am saying nothing new and I am certain that I don’t have the answers. What I do believe, however, is that I have an opportunity to make the best and most responsible choices, for me, in the hope that this will benefit us all.

Steve has many years experience in the application of interactive learning methodologies. He is the company’s Finance Director and Team Manager and has a background in teaching, marketing, sales, outdoor sports education and management development.