Older Men Are Politically Expendable

Vernon Coleman

My wife, who is 35-years-old, has just received yet another letter from her GP inviting her to attend for a cervical smear. The invitations and reminders seem to come through as often as letters from companies offering us double glazing and car insurance.

There is some dispute about the value of cervical smears.

But let's put that aside for the moment.

I am 61-years-old, and for men in my age group the simplest and most cost productive health check is a blood pressure check. It takes no more than two minutes and costs nothing.

And yet I have never, ever received an invitation to have my blood pressure checked.

Why, I wonder, could this be?

Could it possibly be because the Government pays GPs a bonus if they perform cervical smears but no one gives a stuff about the over 60s? (Particularly if they happen to be male.)

As it happens I don't much care for myself.

I still have my sphygmomanometer and so every so often I check my own blood pressure.

(Fine at the moment. Thanks for asking.)

But what about the millions of men who aren't doctors and don't have a sphygmomanometer sitting in the spare bedroom?

Modern medicine has nothing to do with health care and everything to do with money and power.

Vast amounts of money are spent (? wasted) performing cervical smears because there's a huge and powerful feminist lobby demanding that women be looked after in this way (regardless of the value of the test).

But there is no one campaigning for the health rights of older men.

Copyright Vernon Coleman October 4th 2007

Dr Vernon Coleman is the author of over 100 books including the international bestseller How To Stop Your Doctor Killing You which is available from the shop on this website.