I have had a most hectic week.
As you know I have been a little under the weather after catching a chill. Anthea was the only one who gave me a Get Well card. I don't know what it is about modern society but people are so selfish and mean. It would only cost a few pounds to send a card.
I have been suffering from a very debilitating bout of flu, but it's POETS day [Piss Off Early Tomorrow's Saturday] and I'm feeling much better. So, "Health Service Reform" is my Theme of the Day.
Last night, being unable to sleep due to my stuffed up nose I phoned my GP hoping for some sympathy and advice. It was only 11.30 but all I got was an answering machine and a request to press various buttons on my Blackberry. I'll need to speak to Andrew about this as I had no idea that diagnoses were made over the phone by teenage call-centre operatives.
Eventually I gave up and phoned Doctor Sinnick at home. He was already in bed himself but quickly diagnosed a touch of sinusitis brought on by contact with something damp and advised a few Scotches.
Thanking him for this excellent advice I then tried to engage him in a discussion about the Government's NHS Reforms and why he chose to close his clinic at 5.30 instead of keeping it open 24/7/365. "Are we only allowed to go sick during office hours on Monday to Friday?" I asked.
Sinnick took it all in good heart but then started asking me questions about my own performance as Krupton's MP and wanted to know my honest opinion on the reforms. I reminded him that I hadn't voted for or against as I normally sit on the fence on matters of this sort so that constituents always know my policy position. My on-going slogan is, as you well know, "You know where you stand with Quentin Kelp."
But I think I must have caught Doctor Sinnick at an inconvenient time because he then asked me to hang on while he went to make himself a cup of Horlicks. Apparently he had started to compile a long list of questions about the NHS for me over the months and needed the energy that Horlicks provided to keep going for an hour or so. While I waited, I fetched a bottle of Bells from my desk.
It was 2.30 when I eventually dropped off although I think Sinnick was still in full flow.
I do remember him telling me one or two new things of importance, though. For instance, he mentioned the state of Krupton swimming pool. Thank goodness I have not been there for a long time. You see, apparently, a woman patient of his was suffering from what Sinnick called "serious leaking" whenever she sneezed or coughed or went jogging. He had advised her to cut down on her exercise and not to cough or over exert herself, but apparently she still uses the swimming pool. Sinnick demanded I speak to the Council in case he was blamed for an outbreak of chlorine resistant E coli.
And the Health Trust had also caused him deep embarrassment. They had written to one of Sinnick's female patients (with a copy to Sinnick) saying: "We have been informed that you are pregnant by your GP."
Sinnick has asked me to discuss the matter with the Health Secretary or he'd sue - and all this at way past midnight.
But let me return to my main theme, "Sympathy for the indisposed".
Judged by the sparsity of Get Well Soon cards I received, is it any wonder Clinton Cards have just gone bankrupt?
But there is always a positive side as it's to do with the improvements the Government has made to healthcare. Do you remember my election campaign to stop all sick notes: "Pick on the sick."
As I joked to Anthea, there might be "votes in sick notes." I dodn't believe half of them are sick anyway - they just want time off work. It's so wrong bothering busy GPs with trivialities and such a waste of public money. Most are whingers with nothing wrong that an aspirin wouldn't fix. But my campaign was based on the deep philosophical theory that if you did away with sickness then you did away with sick notes.
And it is clear already that, on the back of my campaign, the Government has already succeeded. The closure of Clinton cards proves that there is no longer a demand for Get Well cards because everyone is healthier.
Anthea said she'd bought my Get Well card in the Post Office when she was posting my expenses sheet. The Post Office only serves a dwindling minority, only keeps a few cards in stock hence the quality is rather poor but it was the thought that counted. But the Post Office is mostly there only to serve those who use the bus to get into town.
[This reminds me that my theme for next week is Public Transport]
Meanwhile, today's theme is the "Post Office". I never go in there any longer.
I used to but I hate being referred to as Counter No 6. My name is Quentin Kelp. I waited two hours once waiting for my name to be called before the penny dropped.
So you will be pleased to know that I will be campaigning at the election to privatise the Post Office. There will be no sitting on fences this time. Only private enterprise will instil a culture of proper respect for customers.
Whilst not wanting to alert the opposition candidate for Krupton to the finer detail, part of my campaign will involve the introduction of self-employed retired people who will be responsible for directing people to the front of the queue. How much they get paid will depend on how close to the front of the queue you want to get and so will depend entirely on tips from customers.
"Get me to the front of the queue, mate, will you? The car's parked outside on the pavement and on a double yellow and I need a tax disc. Here's a tenner. See if you can also get me ten quid off the tax disc while you're at it."
You see how the system will work? It will provide a way for retired people to get out of the house, boost their pensions and still not exceed their income tax thresholds.
Anyway, I'm better now. Doctor Sinnick's advice worked a treat but I'm still very worried about the pressure that doctors are under, and it's not always their fault.
According to Sinnick the unexplained deaths in the local intensive care unit have been traced to the cleaner. He had been unplugging life support machines to plug in his cleaning machine. At the election I will be campaigning to bring back mops.