4/04/2007

Let's campaign to stop patients being ripped off

Any scientist or telecoms experts will tell you that mobile phones present no risk to medical equipment. Similarly, pilots are well known to phone their wives, partners or friends on the approach to landing in order to say they will be home soon, using their mobile phones, again proving that using them on planes causes no risk at all.

Now whilst I can understand why airlines charge so much for in flight calls given that at altitude it is unlikely that you will pick up a decent mobile signal and you as a passenger have chosen to go on the aircraft, I fail to see the justification for such exorbitant telephone charges for patients in hospital.

Just last month some hospitals announced that following professional advice they would allow people to use mobile phones in non acute wards. However, today it has been announced that Patientline, a company that provides phone in hospitals where mobile phone remain banned are to put their call costs up by 160%. This is a blatant rip off as patients in these hospital remain banned from using mobile phones.

Let's see some MPs take this issue up with the NHS. I'll certainly be e-mailing my friend and Lib Dem health spokesman Norman Lamb about it to see what questions he can ask about this as it is a disgrace that patients are taken advantage of in this way.

3 comments:

Edis said...

Add the fact that you can't (I believe) use text messages via Patientline, so that deaf people are particularly excluded from communications within hospitals.

Justin Hinchcliffe said...

Even if pts. could use their mobiles, chances are that they wouldn’t be able to get a reception given the number of Lib Dem campaigns against phone masts.

A very good letter has appeared in this week's local rag, the Journal:

http://www.tottenhamjournal.co.uk/content/haringey/tottenhamjournal/postbag/story.aspx?brand=HCEJOnline&category=postbag&tBrand=northlondon24&tCategory=postbagtwgj&itemid=WeED04%20Apr%202007%2010%3A22%3A54%3A323

Featherstone has no shame (or brains)!

Tristan said...

The problem, of course, is lack of competition.
Patientline has no competition. It is a monopoly.
I'm sure that for a reasonable amount a VoIP network could be set up in hospitals. That would provide internet as well of course.

Infact, all you need is the network, then you can have competing telecoms suppliers for calls.

As for mobile phones on planes - I'm worried about the pollution caused by lots of transmitters up there. Could play havoc with all sorts of communication equipment, especially as the Americas use different frequencies.
It would piss of the radio astronomers no end as well.

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