A senior surgeon has made a public apology to patients whose operations are being postponed - because he has been too efficient. Peter Cox, a general consultant surgeon at the West Cornwall Hospital, Penzance, and his colleagues have been told to slow down by the local health authorities. Not only has Mr Cox met the current six-month waiting list target but he has surpassed it. As a result, more than 50 of his patients are being sent letters telling them that their surgery dates will be put back. ... The directive has come from the Primary Care Trust for the next financial year. [Mr Cox said:] "They have informed the Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust that they will not pay for routine operations unless the patients have waited at least 18 weeks from the time that they were put on the list."
This is what happens when instead of broad, social and environmental objectives that are meaningful to real people, you target Mickey Mouse micro-objectives devised by bureacrats.