There are many, many doctors who embrace technology in healthcare. But for one GP in Aberdeen, the thought of being asked to conduct consultations by Skype - as recently advocated by NHS medical director Sir Bruce Keogh - seems to have been just a bit too much.
Kevin Hinkley unburdened himself in a post on the pulsetoday website that was headlined "as deadly as afternoon tea with Gaddafi" and went on to describe the notion as "nothing short of medical terrorism". Dr Hinkley seems to regard computers as inherently unhelpful: prone to running virus checks and downloading updates at the worst possible moments. Crashing just because cups of tea land on them. EHI sympathises. We have a router that is causing all sorts of problems at the moment. But medical terrorism?
This week's EHI newsletter has a distinctly Scottish feel to it, so it seems appropriate for the diary to bring readers news about John Quinn, a senior information analyst for NHS National Services Scotland's information services division, which is based in Glasgow. Mr Quinn has a first class degree in maths and business analysis, but, as the Daily Record put it in an unimprovable paragraph: "The number crunching health service manager by day is revealed as a bone-crunching cage fighter by night."
Quinn told the paper his day-job is mentally draining - and does not get any easier when he is nursing a black-eye - so he loves the 'pure competition' of cage fighting. But his hobby plays up to the image of Glasgow as a city so tough that its baggage handlers stop terrorists and its bureaucrats crack bones for light entertainment.
There is much grumbling in the Bromsgrove Standard this week about the service at a new GP practice. A letter from a user appropriately describing himself as "The Bromsgrove Whinger" lists out a number of complaints, ranging from the difficulty of getting an appointment, to the lack of a clock on the waiting room wall.
One of the Whinger's whinges is that once they have finally managed to see a doctor, patients have to wait all over again at a pharmacy to get their drugs. "Why the doctor cannot put your prescription on his computer, straight to the pharmacy site, I do not know!" he writes. Well, EHealth Insider has the full history of the Electronic Prescription Service, now finally making progress on EPS R2 after many delays. But let's just say that it will be quicker and cheaper to put up a clock.
One of the diary's favourite features is the 'behind the headlines' section on NHS Choices which does sterling work analysing the latest health fad and scare stories in the daily papers. According to the ShanghaiDaily.com, a doctor from the No. 2 Military Medical University in the city is on a one-man campaign to try and do something similar.
Zhang Qian has just published a book called the 'Health Rumour Terminator' that tackles popular urban myths, such as the idea that putting a cactus next to your computer will absorb its harmful radiation. The cactus myth is so laughable it's hard to believe anybody would take it seriously. But Google cactus+computer+radiation and you'll find it being peddled on any number of websites; surprisingly few of which are run by garden centres.
The EHI diary hates to say "we told you so" but there is no denying that when the 'Liberating the NHS' white paper was launched last year, we pointed out that reorganisations of the health service tend to produce more bureaucracy, rather than less. And that one of the prime reasons for this is that organisations with "boots on the ground" are reluctant to abolish themselves as planned. The diary refers you to strategic health authorities, now formed into 'clusters' and waiting to become NHS Commissioning Board 'sectors.'
Anyway, the Labour Party has spotted that the latest reforms, which health secretary Andrew Lansley said would end NHS "alphabetty spaghetti" have in fact dripped meat balls in tomato sauce all over them, and drawn up a great (if somewhat misleading) pair of organograms to show the old and new structures. Try spotting where a 'hospital' fits, in a quiet moment.