Good afternoon, everyone. Good to see you all looking so well in spite of it all.
I am here to announce a revamped NHS. In this age of the internet [NOTE TO ASSISTANT: DO WE STILL CALL IT THE INFORMATION SUPERHIGHWAY OR WILL THAT MAKE ME TREND ON TWITTER FOR THE WRONG REASONS???], we need to harness all the technology we can to save money [NOTE TO ASSISTANT: SHOULD I SAY "IMPROVE PATIENT CARE" HERE???].
As such, the NHS now stands for National Health Syberspace. [NOTE TO ASSISTANT: WILL THAT SPELLING CAUSE QUESTIONS TO BE ASKED ABOUT GOVE'S EDUCATION REFORMS???]
I am sure you have all heard about our cutting-edge plans for GPs to do more consultations via email and Skype. This country is the birthplace of the English language, of fine literature that has influenced the world over the centuries, so I know everyone will be able to describe their symptoms to their GPs over email with an almost lyrical level of descriptiveness. Indeed, I fully expect that one day an enterprising GP will compile his or her most eloquent patient emails for a most entertaining book. [NOTE TO ASSISTANT: WOULD THIS REPRESENT AN ENORMOUS BREACH OF PATIENT CONFIDENTIALITY???]
So I am fully confident that the people of this country will be able to describe such complex conditions as motor neurone disease and cardiac dysrhythmia with effortless ease!
And what could be better than only going as far as your webcam for a cheeky Skype consultation. In keeping with our fine tradition of saucy comedy, I am sure everyone is as excited as I am at the hilarious prospect of a friend or family member walking in just as you are bent over the iPad showing your doctor a particularly tricky anal boil or a booming yeast infection. Benny Hill would be so proud.
But, make no mistake, we are not stopping at email and Skype with the National Health Syberspace.
We will save millions of pounds [IMPROVE PATIENT CARE???] by launching a hashtag. Why should you be limited to seeing just one trained medical professional at a time when you can ask the opinion of millions of Twitter users across the world. Yes, tomorrow we will get #WhatIsWrongWithMe trending worldwide. This way, it will be easy to send your symptoms out to the whole world for easy diagnosis. Be sure to attach a photo for maximum retweets.
Send your photos of irritating rashes out to the Twitterverse! You will know in no time if it is a heat rash, measles, acne, chicken pox or shingles.
And who doesn't love a good Facebook video? The ice bucket challenge has been a jolly jape and we can't get enough of videos of someone else's kids dancing on the kitchen table to a middle-of-the-road radio station. So we will also be saving millions of pounds [IMPROVING PATIENT CARE??? HELP!] by simply urging you all to post videos of yourself, your family and your ailments.
We know there are some things that cannot be properly captured in a photograph or email so if you have a wheezy cough, a weeping sore or you are having a suspected heart attack or bipolar episode, just video it, post it on Facebook and tag the friends whose opinions you value the most. I am pleased to report this has already been happening to a certain extent, whether it is a clueless parent updating their status to inform the world their baby is running a temperature of 39º rather than going to straight to one of the A&E departments we have closed down, or an attention-seeking idiot posting something about a terrible headache in the hope of getting a lot of "u ok hun?" comments.
So why not go one step further and share fun videos of your symptoms on your Facebook page? Your friends and family care about you so they are best placed to advise on whether you really need to see a GP or go to hospital.
We want to embrace the internet as the NHS's main diagnostic tool. After all, who hasn't turned to Doctor Google in the middle of the night to self-diagnose a potentially life-threatening condition? And we can save even more money [DO I MEAN TO SAY "IMPROVE PATIENT CARE" AGAIN HERE? THIS IS TRICKY] by hoping and praying that more people's health-related Googling leads them to homeopathy websites where they will simply spend loads of money on insecure websites buying useless potions or discovering the healing power of rainbows.
It is an exciting new future for the new, improved National Health Syberspace. If you have any questions about this state-of-the-art initiative, please tweet me and I will not bother to respond because, frankly, I am too busy tweeting patronising bunkum about how I spent an afternoon with the "hardworking staff" of an A&E department in a safe Tory seat at its least busiest time.