Darzi to the rescue

After Lord Ara Darzi’s last-minute pull from the RCGP conference last week, the medical community was wondering what could have possibly happened that prevented him from giving one of his most anticipated speeches this year.

But two days later Lord Darzi showed that in a crisis he’s always on call when he was sent by No 10, after an emergency call, to Peter Mandelson’s home in the early hours. The new Business Secretary apparently fell ill on Sunday – after his first day at work – and made the emergency call to Downing Street at around 3am.

According to media reports, Lord Darzi even drove Mandelson to a London hospital where the politician was diagnosed with kidney stones. Well there’s personal treatment for you.

Mandelson, who was a surprise appointment as business minister in Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s cabinet reshuffle a few days ago,  didn’t let this health scare get in the way of his new duties as he managed to attend the first meeting of the National Economic Council – the Prime Minister’s finance ‘war cabinet’, the next morning.

He then returned to St Mary’s hospital where he underwent a procedure to treat the small kidney stone.

According to the Daily Mail, Mandelson had dinner on Sunday evening with Lord Darzi in a London restaurant before complaining of feeling unwell yesterday. Perhaps our polyclinics whiz was feeling responsible/guilty hence the rush to Mandelson’s home in the middle of the night. Who knows.

News reports say Mandelson’s spokesperson confirmed the minister was treated as an NHS patient. I am not sure why but I am struggling to believe this. Perhaps it’s the fact that a health minister drove him in the middle of the night in his own car to the hospital where he practices as a surgeon… or perhaps it’s the fact that Mandelson was treated for his kidney stone – where surgery is usually the final option – in less than 12 hours in a country where some people can’t get an appointment with their GP within two weeks. I am also highly dubious about the £3.5m Mandelson’s house is reported to be worth…

But that’s just because I am too cynical. Let’s see the positive side of the story: at least we finally know where Lord Darzi is…


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