I am absolutely convinced that red tape, prohibition and excessive bureaucracy is costing our society a huge amount of money. It is demoralising, uninspiring and basically clipping our wings.

I can cite many examples here. As a doctor, I see many patients with a common cold or any other type of viral illness. All they need is to take 1-2 days off, go to bed, drink plenty of fluids and so on.

Unfortunately, gone are the days when people were allowed to take up to 2 days off without a doctor’s certificate. Now, they have to obtain one, so they need to see their GP just for that, not only that, they even need to get an attendance certificate for 1 or 2 hours of absence. Of course, these consultations could be avoided and the cost to health care reduced.

I saw a retired nurse a few days ago. I asked her what she likes about her retirement the most. Her answer was, I don’t have to write all of these reports. She commented that when she started her career as a nurse about 40 years ago, the notes were kept short just as a way of communication between the staff. Now, they have to write long stories, just to cover themselves, all in fear of litigation.

Another nurse, who works in the Accident and Emergency Department told me that years ago, you would simply do what needs to be done, now it is all about following protocols, procedures and flow charts. She doesn’t find it very helpful.

Bureaucratic papers are so convoluted and complicated that most people struggle to understand what they are on about. GPs are overloaded with red tape. That time can be better spent listening to patients.

Very sadly, many of us are forced to practice defensive medicine, quite often ordering many unnecessary investigations, again, all in fear of litigation. GPs are also very undervalued as well as unappreciated and unfortunately the suicide rate among doctors is quite high.

Another problem is the war on drugs. We know that it’s not working and never will. We spend so much money on police raids, persecution, prohibition while the drug problem is only getting worse and sadly effects so many young people. We know that countries with more liberal laws, eg. Portugal, report better outcomes on drug related problems.

Why can’t we follow that model and spend a proportion of that money on education, harm minimisation, support, creating rehabilitation centres. Why can’t we give these people better medicines to help their withdrawals, eg CBD.

Why would we rather allow a child to die than give them medicine that they need?

Why do we need to push synthetic therapeutic agents and bully other medicines?

A lot of my patients who work in offices especially government ones, experience depression, anxiety and sometimes even nervous breakdowns due to the excessive demands placed on them and bullying at work. Is it really necessary?

Politicians are now debating about dual citizenship, why does it matter, who gives a damn. These people were born here anyway, it should be about their service and performance and not about their dual or whatever citizenship.

Sometimes, it appears to me that people in power focus on minor issues so they don’t have to tackle the important problems. I feel that excessive red tape can be compared to cancer, proliferating out of control, spreading and eventually killing the organism it invades.

I believe in balance and the middle ground. Good, healthy structures, common sense and compassion. Politicians should spend less time in their offices and more time talking to real people, addressing their real needs.

2 thoughts on “Bureaucracy and red tape, can we do better

  1. This mentality has infected the very fabric of society and in my view one that has been imported from the US.
    Governments and employers for that matter think everyone is a liar, a thief, a drug addict and a racketeer and thus always looking for someone to blame. This blame game has filtered down and unfortunately its only the average person that truly feels its impact. All I can say is I am glad I had good old days…. now I am reminiscing….Ahhhh the good old days…. Another great article

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