Dr Christian Jessen blasts ‘regressive' attitudes towards the NHS
TV’s Dr Christian Jessen has aired his concerns about the “flawed” NHS, blasting “regressive” attitudes towards it and calling for change across the medical industry.
The star of Channel 4’s Embarrassing Bodies has said that, while he thinks the concept of the NHS is “fantastic”, medical professionals are vital in making the changes the service needs in order to run more efficiently, along with politicians.
Dr Jessen, 40, told the Press Association: “I’m annoyed at this sort of, ‘The NHS is sacred’, ‘You don’t touch it, you don’t comment on it, you don’t criticise it’ and, ‘If you do, you’re a traitor to the cause’…
“That’s regressive and it doesn’t help things and I think there are lots of flaws to the NHS, lots.
“Medicine has changed massively since the concept; as a concept it’s a fantastic thing, as a working entity I think it’s massively flawed.
“And until we start to admit that and change things, it’s not going to get better, it’s never going to have enough money.”
He added: “We’ll constantly shout at the Government for not giving it enough money, but there isn’t, and there never will be enough money, so maybe we have to think of different ways of doing things.”
Dr Jessen, who also works off-screen in a clinic on Harley Street in London, said he thinks that doctors should have a bigger input on how the health system is run.
“It’s always politicians that make the decisions and we do it, and I don’t think that should be the case at all,” he said.
“I think doctors should be deciding the best way to practise medicine and at the moment, with the current system, I don’t think we’re practising medicine in the best way we can.”
Dr Jessen, who is known on TV as Dr Christian, also aired his views on the standard “eight-minute GP consultation”.
“I think the eight-minute GP consultation is a lunacy and why we doctors have accepted that, I do not understand, because I think that’s bad medicine.
“There’s no way you can look after someone and all their complex problems in eight minutes.”
Speaking of his new medical programme, Dr Christian Will See You Now, Dr Jessen said he has “the luxury of time”.
He said: “If you just spend 30 minutes with a patient, letting them talk… When they come in with tummy pain, give them the time and the space and the confidence to open up, you realise there’s a lot, lot, lot more going on than that and actually the tummy pain isn’t the major issue at all, but perhaps there were horrible childhood abuse things that went on, that they’ve just shut away, and they’re sort of just manifesting as tummy pain, because it’s that anxiety and that horrible dread of a person that maybe wasn’t very nice to you.
“With time, anyone can get that out and help the person, but an eight-minute GP consultation?
“No way. Never. It’s not going to be done.”
:: Dr Christian Will See You Now airs on W channel on Tuesday October 31