Trim the fat
- By: Teresa Pun
Fat is associated with excess. We don't usually think twice about counselling patients on the benefits of an ideal body mass index. Perhaps we should also start thinking about trimming the fat in the medical profession. Why? Because our hospitals and medical schools are not properly accountable for their budgets. Money is spent, and things get done, but how efficiently? Does anyone know?
On the first day of my second year at medical school, I was surprised to see a plasma screen flanking the administrative offices. The screen faced passers by and showed a Power Point slide displaying the time and nothing else. Why? While working in the blood bank at a university affiliated hospital one summer, I learnt that it had spent its annual budget for “office supplies” in six months. Nine members of staff had spent more than $C10 000 (£4800; €7000; $8800) on brightly coloured pens and