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Everything posted by Galen

  1. I wonder how many of our 'great and good' were aware of this, and if so, whether it was taken into account in respect of the control measures that were put in place https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/apr/18/obscure-maths-bayes-theorem-reliability-covid-lateral-flow-tests-probability
  2. 'Them' would be the Department chaired by the Minister and attended by the Departmental Members (i.e. Politicians assigned to the Dept) and the various Heads of the Divisions. Depending on the decision to be taken, if it were political, then the Minister would have to sign off as legally he/she is accountable. For routine admin things the CEO can approve as long as there are no direct political implications that could backfire on the Minister/Members. The Minister is the quasi equivalent of a Chairman of a company in the private sector. Further, a IOM Govt Minister can decide which CEO he will
  3. In pulling together some earlier points I think you will find that Dr Couch qualified as psychiatrist and not a psychologist. He then went into tax for one of the big oil companies ending up here as Assessor of Income Tax. Medics traditionally qualify with two first bachelors degrees (usually medicine and surgery) and given the length of study (5 years) are awarded the honorary title "Dr". Some then do doctorates as shown by the post nominal 'MD' if the doctorate is in medicine or 'PhD' if in another subject. Some do academic endeavours outside of medicine and can get PhDs too as Dr
  4. While no fan of any our politicians, I feel that credit is due for the way that they, supported by public servants generally, got the Island through the first phase of Covid. Sustaining that level of input to further phases of the pandemic was never going to easy and, for some, the toll is being being seen with the proverbial 'fraying around the edges' becoming increasingly evident. There is always going to be egos bounding around when major events occur, but a mature government should be able to forecast that and make the necessary adjustments. The fact that it would appear tha
  5. I am sure Dr Rankin of MEDS will have take due cognisance of the BMA 2018 Guidance which includes the following advice "The informality and real-time nature of social media are two of its strengths but they are also potential pitfalls. Medicine can be a challenging and stressful job and while it may be tempting to let off steam or ‘speak your mind’......., . A good rule of thumb is don’t post when angry, drunk or emotional and don’t say or reveal anything on social media that you wouldn’t be happy to see printed in a newspaper.You have rights to free speech but they are not absolute. Reme
  6. Galen

    Death & Dying

    If medicine was a science then the same thing would happen to everyone. The reality is that it does not. A simple example, being giving an aspirin to one person cures their headache, given to another person they have an anaphylactic reaction. Medicine is (obviously) based on scientific principles, but the 'art' is knowing what it will do to the individual given that each of us has a personal chemistry. ( The British Medical Journal article at https://mh.bmj.com/content/27/1/42 gives some insight into this)
  7. Galen

    Death & Dying

    Whether we like it or not, theses difficult times are going to see some of our loved ones depart before their time. Medicine is an art, not a science, and our gallant NHS staff can only do so much. As Benjamin Franklin once noted there are only two certainties in life, death and tax. I recently lost my Dad. While we both knew it was coming, we obviously did not know when. When it did, it was swift - a matter of days from when I got the phone call to get over to the UK to be with him in his last hours. In the previous months before he passed I was fortunate that I had had what some ca
  8. Thanks John for the list, is this one you constructed or has someone else started it?
  9. Thanks DragonS - it is that type of thing but a bit more structured, and as part of the general information that is made available in these difficult times alongside other pertinent information, rather than having to dig around on a particular radio site - no disrespect to Manx Radio. Personally, I would have thought IoMG with its vast IT GTS service, and with so many of its staff working from home, would have done something as a public service but maybe I am stretching my expectations.
  10. In these every changing times, is anyone aware of a IOM central services directory where the details of who and what is open, when and to whom, available online? For example, while the Island's stores have made certain hours available to NHS staff/ elderly people, each company has, understandably, different times and on different days. One location where you could see all the information in one place would reduce wasted trips and unnecessary contacts? I appreciate that this would need initially require some effort to be set up, and while potentially prone to pranksters, one would hop
  11. As we have an interim DHSC CEO who is only on Island 3 days a week, this presumably will mean she will have to self quarantine for 14 days every time she comes over. Meanwhile IOM Govt will be paying her a monthly salary for what could be less than 6 days work per month. The Isle of Man, where you can......
  12. Some acknowledgement has to be given the fact that generally people are living longer, more treatments are becoming available, and understandably, many people want every change in their health status checked out for fear it is something sinister. This is driven in part by the public health messages based around improving awareness and media stories of people ignoring a particular symptom and prematurely facing the grim reaper. Reluctantly perhaps, but the fact has to be recognised that our bodies are not designed to live forever and certain lifestyles, coupled to a range of environmental facto
  13. Part of the problem relates to events back in 2013/2014, when Mark Lewin (ex COO of Sefton Hotel, Nat West/RBS 'change manager', and now CEO Dept for Enterprise) was put in charge of Govt IT. To make "savings" he recommended it was centralised along with the health IT budgets, with some health people who had knowledge and experience of health and health IT being made redundant. The proposal was fully supported by that well known 'IT expert,' 'ex-IOM banker' and Treasury Minster, Eddie Teare. Any suggestion that Teare and Lewin had a long association stemming back to the banking world (IOM Bank
  14. No matter which option is gone for we the motorists will pick up the tab, but for all we know the insurance industry might offer to do it for considerably less than 10% at no cost at all :-)
  15. Why no move to getting the insurers to collect car tax? Insurers know the vehicle and engine size, can find out its emissions easily enough and the IOM Govt can provide the emission banding charges. With this information insurers just put the road tax cost onto the vehicle's insurance. Many people pay their insurance monthly anyway, so depending on the vehicle it could be just a few pounds more per month. For the gas guzzlers, their insurance will not be cheap anyway so it is a direct consequence of having a large vehicle ie more expensive insurance and road tax. Insurers then issue
  16. In the last year I have raised it with 3 politicians including the CM and they not interested in the slightest in regulating the "God squad" - 'a step too far and not required'. They are not even prepared to require that the religious people carry visible ID. Nevertheless, our politicians are happy for charities to have to get a licence (and carry ID) to go door knocking, and delighted to ban cold callers as long as they are not from religious groups, or themselves when electioneering. IOM ICO, an arms length agency of the Cabinet Office (and therefore not truly independent of the politic
  17. I am a little surprised our local Information Commissioner has not been vocal about a degree of regulation of the doorstep religious groups must comply with thanks to GDPR https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/07/15/jehovahs-witnesses-must-ask-permission-collecting-personal-data/ https://gdpr.report/news/2018/07/12/jehovahs-witnesses-suffer-smite-via-the-wrath-of-european-privacy-laws/ This also makes interesting reading https://avoidjw.org/en/policies-procedures/general-data-protection-regulation/ GDPR is a step in the right direction, but classing religious groups as
  18. Bringing the family to the door is perhaps intended to show that the particular religious group is all inclusive and family friendly - or it could be because the parents can't get baby sitters while they do their religious endeavours? In fairness it was a Saturday morning when 'they called'. The kids though were only toddlers. I felt really sorry for them, but perhaps that is the parent's ploy to reign you in!
  19. Equally sickening is when you get the whole family at the door, father, mother and 2 kids as I had a few months ago. I am not anti-religion, each to their own. But I do object when religious people come uninvited to my front door and I have no legal mechanism to stop them. Yet, according to Mr Perkins MHK, if they offer to clean my gutters (and this is not an euphemism), this would be deemed cold calling and I would have a legal remedy. The politicians aren't interested in legislating to regulate them for fear of upsetting other religious groups, and the Police are understandably too
  20. Agree, but in at least in public you have the choice of whether to approach them or not. When they are banging on your door and you don't know its them until you open your door, it is a different thing, A couple of my elderly neighbours find them frightening, A mate of mine has started getting their phone camera out when these religious bods appear and starts photographing them and their cars. Apparently, they don't like that as it means they can be identified. But at least it gives evidence to show the police of potential harassment.
  21. So religious groups and politicians can cold call but no one else (https://www.manxradio.com/news/isle-of-man-news/oft-police-work-together-to-stop-cold-callers/ ). So does that mean charities (Red Cross etc) are also banned from door knocking? Unlike the religious groups at least the charities provide their supporters with ID which they wear /produce on request as do the statutory authorities (Gas, Electricity, Water etc). As religion is arguably a 'service surely if for some god forsaken reason they can breeze up to your door uninvited and unannounced 'selling their wares' the
  22. For the second year running my local insurance company has rung a few days before the expiry date of my policy and told me I won't be covered if I don't pay immediately. When I not pointed out that I had not received any reminder / renwal notice I was told they sent it by email 3 weeks earlier. When I said that I had not got any electronic reminder they then blamed the ISP. So I asked them to send the original email again there and then. They didn't, and instead sent a general one, which I thought was suspicious, but it appeared in my inbox within a few seconds. After pointing the ISP did
  23. Welcome Neil, got a civil servant to do it for me as I was busy with colouring in my pictures :-)
  24. IMHO it is the Chief Officers Group (aka COG) who hold the most power in respect of running the Island. They meet regularly with the Chief Sec who is part of their annual appraisal system and agree on a range of topics, guided by the Chief Sec who is in turn 'advised' by the Chief Minister. As with any public body the key to any decision that involves cost, (and arguably most do) the power lies with Treasury as to the affordability or not, and if not, where the money is to come from. While the Civil Service (CS) is technically non-political and is intended to serve the governmen
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