It seems that not enough cases of dementia are being diagnosed: only about fifty percent, apparently. Now you might wonder how exactly they go about counting the undiagnosed cases – but that’s not the point right now. The point is that the NHS has a solution. For the next six months, GPs will be paid £55 for each new case they identify.
That’ll get the stats up to where we want them.
Now I wouldn’t dream of suggesting that there are any unscrupulous doctors out there, but it does set a bit of a precedent, doesn’t it? My brother nailed it when he visualised a cartoon (which would have been worthy of the late, irreplaceable David Austin*):
Patient to doctor: “I have absolutely no memory of offering you £60 not to diagnose me with Alzheimer’s!”
* Austin did the pocket cartoon in the Guardian for many years, right up to his early death in 2005. The paper wisely opted not to try to replace him. He took no prisoners. Perhaps my favourite of the few I can remember was in about November 2002, during the lead-up to the Iraq War. Several generals are in conference, looking worried. One of them says: “But – what if he really has got WMDs?”