Zach Cope

My pieces are personal comments on politics, economics, health, cryptography, technology and liberty. This is not medical or health advice!

What headline would you use for this article on lifestyle illnesses?

A BBC article on lifestyle related illnesses caught my eye today, ‘Illnesses associated with lifestyle cost the NHS £11bn’. The article mentions the real health problems of type 2 diabetes and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), both illness that are significantly related to individuals’ lifestyle choices, including diet, smoking, alcohol and exercise. Freeport, a once…

Scottish Named Person Scheme hits setback

It seems some time ago that the Scottish Named Person scheme was announced and, not living in Scotland myself, I assumed the scheme had been quietly dropped at some point. It seems however that this plan, to ensure every child in Scotland has a named professional (teacher, health care worker, social worker etc) with responsibilities…

Whexit

‘The thing is,’ Rolfe declared whilst setting down 3 pints of Old Thumper, ‘I like people from Portsmouth, even went out with one once, but wouldn’t want them all coming to live over here.’ Howard moved over on the bench to allow his friend to sit. The 3 friends didn’t look at each other much…

Downton Abbey – Dreadfully Subversive!

As a suburban family man I do enjoy sitting down in front of my HD TV on an autumn Sunday evening to watch that exquisite example of English, class obsessed, period, property porn that is Downton Abbey. Thoughts of medicine, politics and economics are usually far from my mind during this time. However towards the…

Should Libertarian doctors strike?

Intimidation, damage to property, civil disobedience and scared children – I am pleased to say none of these things were present when I attended the junior doctors’ march in London on 17th October, in support of my junior doctor wife and colleagues. This was the first public political protest I have attended and I left…

When NHS charges come, please do it the right way.

I was pleased to see this briefing from the Chartered Institute of Public Finance & Accountancy examining NHS health finances. The NHS’s own Five Year Forward View, despite its retro 60s communist sounding title, is honest enough to identify a £30billion funding gap from now until 2021, leaving £21bn in ‘efficiency savings’ to make. The…

The last patient

‘Sir we’ve found him!’ Sir Winston Johnston Roxville’s hearing, at the age of 72, was as good as it was at 27, yet the only thing he could think to say at that exact moment was, ‘Pardon?’ ‘The last patient, we’ve found him!’ exclaimed Jenkins, the parliamentary undersecretary for the NHS. Sir Roxville stood from…

Smarties, fat tails and British politics

Does anyone you know passionately support any of the contenders in the UK general election? My own anecdotal impression is that there are strong views about who people don’t like and that the preferred candidate or party is only as a result of hating the other choices more. As to the policies, there is tinkering around…

How Pfizer could patent bondage gear

On 2nd March 2015 Warner-Lambert LLC (a subsidiary of the pharmaceutical company Pfizer) won a ruling against NHS England and various other drug companies regarding their patent for Pregabalin (trade name Lyrica). The judge rule that NHS England should advise clinical commissioning groups and clinicians, including GPs, that, when prescribing Pregabalin for pain, the prescription should…