Features

I’m a junior doctor and I used to trust the Tories. Not any more

14 November 2015

9:00 AM

14 November 2015

9:00 AM

Like many of my fellow junior doctors, I trusted a Conservative government with the NHS. If it’s to stay strong and up to date, a health service cannot remain static. It needs not just money but carefully thought-out reform — as well as a strong economy to support it.

Just after the general election, David Cameron laid out the problem as he saw it: a ‘weekend effect’ where a patient admitted to hospital on a Sunday is 16 per cent more likely to die than one admitted on a Wednesday. ‘So seven-day care isn’t just about a better service — it’s about saving lives,’ he said. This is a classic example of a little knowledge being a dangerous thing.

When I work weekend shifts, I do notice that services could be improved — not everyone in a hospital works seven days. But if Jeremy Hunt wants to remedy this, he should incentivise more doctors to work out of hours. Instead, he plans to penalise those of us who already do. Yes, pay for normal hours will rise by 11 per cent — but ‘normal hours’ will be defined as lasting until 10 p.m., Monday to Saturday. This will, of course, mean less money for doctors who work late into evenings. But even more importantly, it will deter junior doctors from pursuing specialisms with more out-of-hours work — such as accident and emergency, paediatrics, and acute medicine.


Junior doctors training in A&E already work the most evenings, nights and weekends. Currently they are rewarded financially for this, in the same way that most workers — from cleaners to policemen — are. But without the out-of-hours premium, a career in A&E becomes even less appealing. The NHS is already facing a recruitment and retention crisis. Dr Cliff Mann, Britain’s most senior casualty medic, recently explained that half of all our trainee A&E doctors abandon the profession after four years. It’s tough, harrowing work — and making it pay less will not address the recruitment crisis. He calculates that some 600 consultants and trainee A&E doctors have emigrated in five years.

Fewer trainees in A&E means more gaps in the staff rota, which will have to filled with expensive locum doctors — resulting in a higher cost to the taxpayer. A cap on locum rates (something Jeremy Hunt has introduced from next April) will just make these gaps harder to fill. Market forces govern locum rates. It seems strange that the Tories would try to cap prices when they can usually grasp free-market economics: price-fixing leads to shortages.

It costs about £230,000 to train a doctor — and that investment will be lost if British doctors keep fleeing abroad. At the last count, almost a quarter of specialist doctors in Australia came from the UK. If things go on like this, the budget for training doctors might be recategorised as overseas aid.

As I quickly found out, being a junior doctor often means working long past your allotted hours. You stay until the job is done, whether or not you’re paid for the overtime. We stay because we care. If we strike, then, as we may well do, it won’t be because we’re greedy but because we can’t bear to see the service we love damaged so badly.

Katia Florman is a junior doctor at a London teaching hospital.

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Show comments
  • Shorne

    ‘a little knowledge being a dangerous thing.’
    Or to put it another way Hunt is being a bit economical with the truth
    ‘The research found that each year in England 11,000 more people die each within 30 days of admission to hospital on Friday, Saturday, Sunday or Monday, compared to the other days of the week. But it was very careful not to say this was caused by low staffing, or indeed anything else:
    “It is not possible to ascertain the extent to which these excess deaths may be preventable; to assume that they are avoidable would be rash and misleading.”
    So the research doesn’t support the idea that understaffed hospitals are to blame for 11,000 deaths. The researchers did say the deaths raise “challenging questions about reduced service provision at weekends”, but those questions needn’t just be about hospital staffing.
    Community care services are often shut or reduced at the weekends, for instance.’

    Source: fullfact.org – always worth a look.

    • Hamburger

      We have exactly the same problem with an increased death rate at weekends. Staffing is low and senior doctors and consultants are at home with their families while poorly paid junior doctors are left in charge. The same is true in Austria and France.

    • rtj1211

      You’ll also find spikes in death rates in August and February due to new juniors starting rotations. Not really any way around that one I’m afraid as the only way for doctors to ultimately learn is to be let loose. Statistically they make a few mistakes which cost lives.

      • Sue Smith

        Nothing is what you get for nothing, sadly.

    • Malcolm Knott

      I went to Ipswich hospital on a Saturday last month. It was deserted. You could hear the tumble weed in the corridors. Even W H Smith was closed.

    • Malcolm Knott

      This is an argument about money dressed up in the usual trade union rhetoric: ‘We have the patients’ interests at heart.’ ‘If we want a better service we must pay for it.’ ‘Our members are at the end of their tether.’ Blah blah blah. Heard it all before. We heard it when the ambulance drivers went on strike in the 1970s. And the firemen. And the gravediggers. It was disgraceful then and it’s disgraceful now.

  • Bert

    Courtesy of the NHS, Junior doctors are virtually guaranteed a very high standard of living in the medium to long term. Stop bleating. If you don’t like it here go and work abroad. Plenty of foreigners will replace you.

  • commenteer

    Cleaners and policeman may get paid overtime, but workers in the professions do not. Consider the workload of a successful barrister or small businessman if you want to see really long hours.
    Doctors know that in the second half of their careers they are pretty much guaranteed a very good income and excellent pension.
    If they think they are hard done by, they should take a hard look around.

    • rtj1211

      Only those who reach consultant are guaranteed what you say. Many end up on ‘staff grade’ and do considerably less well whilst having all the same hours.

      • flipkipper

        Cut the status of consultants then this stupid rat race and politicking might end.

    • flipkipper

      Isn’t it amazing? If anyone DARED to make such a comment regarding lawyers or bankers, would he or she bank even 3 likes?

      You are f**ks, we all know you are f**ks. Now get f**ked. Seriously mate go f**k yourself. Junior doctors aren’t overpaid.

      • justejudexultionis

        Well said. Junior doctors get less than admin workers for saving people’s lives.

        • 1Gandydancer

          Admin workers aren’t on a career path to become senior doctors. If the latter exploit the juniors this change has nothing to do with that.

          • andytheonlyhammer

            Admin workers do not have anything like the same level of responsibility. What is the worst that can happen as an admin worker you may cost your employer some money by making an error. Compare that error with the consequences of an error that a junior doctor may make.

          • 1Gandydancer

            Do you think this observation is responsive to anything I said?

      • Dean Edge

        Exquisitely argued and so reasonably put.
        The “special snowflake” generation are destroying the confidence the public had in the profession. Preening entitled ninnies being led by armchair revolutionaries.
        Its a disgrace.

    • andytheonlyhammer

      But cleaners are less much highly skilled and have much less responsibility and as much as i value policemen they are also less highly skilled than junior doctors.

  • Atlas

    Pathetic whinging from someone all but guaranteed a high standard of living, good pay and a excellent pension. Give it rest.

    • victor67

      Yes lets champion those bright kids that become hedge fund managers and casino bankers rather than support those who choose to benefit humanity
      .
      I don’t grudge a Consultant £100k a year but I do some of greedy bas–rds in the city earning ten times that in the city.

      • HJ777

        Just what is supposed to be wrong with hedge funds that people like you think they should be casually demonised?

        If hedge fund managers do a good job, their managers will do very well, as will their clients and the companies in which they invest. But let’s not forget that it is a highly competitive market – and many hedge funds have closed down and many hedge fund managers have lost their jobs in recent years.

        • victor67

          Bookies that went to public schools.

          • HJ777

            If that’s what you think, then I suggest that you invest your pension fund at the bookies and see how well you do in comparison.

          • victor67

            You miss my point. They are not punters they are bookies. They analyse the markets and invest their clients money on statistically the horse who is going to come through.

          • HJ777

            I didn’t suggest that you were saying there were punters.

            Their job is to invest their clients money for the best return. What is your objection to that? Try investing at the bookies and see whether your return is as good.

          • victor67

            I just can’t see how it benefits society. It enriches those who are already very well off and I suspect a large chunk would be moved off shore.
            Economies like ours weighted towards finance based capitalism end up being deeply unequal and fractured.
            If the wealth being generated was being invested in growing businesses and research I wouldn’t have a problem but even Mark Carney said this wasn’t the case.

          • Sue Smith

            Perhaps you should be looking at moving to North Korea.

          • HJ777

            Your lack of insight is no reason to denigrate them.

            Their activities clearly generate economic benefits, otherwise they wouldn’t survive. Generating returns on investments clearly benefits everyone. Even if they sent all their profits abroad to tax havens (they do not, of course – and are no more likely to than any other financial organisation), the money they invest clearly benefits the recipients of that investment.

            And remember that by far the largest investors in the likes of hedge funds (and similar) are pension funds.

            Having a go at hedge funds is just a standard knee-jerk lefty reaction by those who have no understanding of what they do nor its value in the market.

          • justejudexultionis

            I agree. Most of what takes place in the City is socially-sanctioned gambling, no different from going in to Ladbrokes except that Ladbrokes is frowned upon for no other reason than that it is frequented by the working classes. The City is every bit as grubby and immoral as your high street betting shop.

        • justejudexultionis

          Hedge funds are a joke. Parasite capitalism at its worst. Derivatives and other complex financial instruments are merely a ruse to dupe regaulators and the general public through their deliberate complexity. If we gave a damn about the poor, sick or homeless we wouldn’t let these City Mammon-worshippers f**k our society over on a daily basis. You think we can’t afford a publicly-funded health system? We are the fifth largest economy in the world; of course we can damn well afford it.

          • HJ777

            If they don’t add value with their expertise, how do they make money? Who would invest with them? Who is being duped and how?

            They survive if they make money for investors, otherwise they go out of business. What is wrong with that?

            Rather than a rant, can you give me some concrete examples of the supposed harm done by hedge funds?

            The fact that we are the fifth largest economy in the world is neither here nor there. The issue is whether a publicly run medical system is a good idea and whether we get good value for money from it.

          • andytheonlyhammer

            Compare the uk model to the usa model and you will soon see that we get excellent calue for money.

          • HJ777

            Who is advocating the US model? Provide rent-seeking through government protection is the problem there. The AMA is worse than the BMA.

          • andytheonlyhammer

            The way that you understand how a health care model performs is by comparing it to other models. Hunt is someone who is on record for advocating a healthcare model that is much more privatised. It is worth pointing out that the most privatised model in the world in a developped county is also probabley the worst. As long as we have a neoliberal zealot as health minister we must always be vigilant and point out the dangers where he clearly wants to take us.

          • HJ777

            Most US provision is private, but not free market – nor anywhere near. That is why Milton Friedman was so critical of it.

            I think you will find that Hunt advocates a more market-based model.

            Many countries have more market-based forms of provision, including much of Europe.

            http://www.healthpowerhouse.com/files/ehci-2013/ehci-2013-uk.pdf

            “There is clear evidence social insurance based systems are superior. They regularly outperform centralised tax-funded systems in the EHCI.”

            A characteristic of social-insurance funding systems, of course, is a market in provision, not a monopoly state provider.

          • andytheonlyhammer

            Hmmmmm not so sure that this is all that conclusive for example of all the countries it choses to say out perform the uk all of them have a higher spend on health as a share of gdp and of the countries that the uk outperforms only portugal spends a slightly higher share of gdp. This study in no way condradicts my primary argument that countries that spend higher amount of gdp do better. If we were to look at the comonwealth comparison of health care systems you would see that the uk is ranked overall as the top healthcare model.

          • HJ777

            The OECD explicitly says we spend the average but get lower than average quantity and quality of care for our money.

            Scotland spends considerably more per person than the rest of the UK – in line with many higher spending European countries – yet doesn’t rank any higher in the ECHI findings.

            The Commonwealth Fund (on whose board the head of the NHS serves) survey doesn’t generally look at outcomes. Where it does, it ranks the NHS 10 out of 11 countries. Many of its other measures are designed to make publicly-run systems look good – the NHS could not possibly do badly on some of its measures, no matter how bad the actual care.

          • andytheonlyhammer

            Yet it ranks the uk much more highly on the other 10 measures. Still do not think scotland would hit average expendature for a comparable country. The person you refer to the board of the comonwealth fund has also spent much of his career in private health care. It would be easy to argue that this puts him in a good position to compare competing models.
            Many of the other measures that the uk scores highly on do matter. No one is saying the nhs is perfect but credit where credit is due we punch well above our weight despite low levels of funding. My biggest concern is that these low levels are being pushed lower and lower by a government who values tax cuts for the wealthy over bringing our health spending up to levels seen in comparable countries. Hunts attack on medics is a side show to the big issue of underfunding.

          • HJ777

            The Commonwealth Fund report is nonsense. Many of the measures are not related in any way to the quality of care.

            For example, the UK ranks top on ‘equity’ which is given the same weighting as outcomes. But you can score highly on equity by denying a life-saving treatment to everyone, compared to a system that only fails to provide it to just 5% of the people. The former is more ‘equitable’ – the latter gives better outcomes.

            If you care to check the facts, you will see that the current (and the coalition) government has substantially increased taxes on, and tax revenues from, the wealthy – certainly compared to the last Labour government. The figures on this are quite clear. I am a critic of the current government in many respects (I am not Tory – too much of a classical liberal for that), but compared to what is being offered by the left, they are far preferable.

            There is no Hunt ‘ attack’ on medics. He is just saying that they should use the independent pay and conditions review body report as the basis for a new settlement. The BMA provided their input just as he did. Where it supported the BMA view, he hasn’t argued. Where it supported the government view, the BMA has refused to accept it.

  • HJ777

    Perhaps the author of this piece could explain how may of us in the private sector can expect to face this retirement dilemma:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/special-reports/11986549/Should-I-retire-at-55-because-of-my-1.25m-NHS-pension.html

    “‘Should I retire at 55 because of my £1.25m NHS pension?’

    Pension doctor: Gillian Rose, 53, is among thousands of experienced medical workers who face a dilemma created by incredibly generous ‘double benefits’ “

    And how many of us have guaranteed employment?

    Of course, there are drawbacks of being a medic, but that is true of most occupations. They are not hard done by.

    • andytheonlyhammer

      Uk medics may be hard done by if compared with what a medic in the usa will make.

      • HJ777

        Most people earn more in the USA.

        And medical salaries in the US are hugely inflated because the AMA has used licensure and its power of accreditation over training institutions to severely restrict the number of medics compared to other countries. They are paid extremely highly because there is no free market in the provision of medics in the USA.

        • andytheonlyhammer

          Yes some of your points are true but you also forget that insurance for a medic in the usa may be several hundered thousands pounds as well . Costs in the usa will include. Marketing health care plans as well as paying for profits let us not forget that fear of litigation will drivr medics to tequests many extra tests that may also be both expensive and not needed.

          • HJ777

            Medics in the USA also have to pay back the cost of training, unlike here.

            Insurance for a medic in the USA does not cost ‘several hundred thousand pounds’, however

          • andytheonlyhammer

            It can do for obstertricians

  • victor67

    The remarkable bit of this article is that you work in the NHS and you trusted the Tories.
    I think that shows extraordinary naivety.

    • 1Gandydancer

      …because of course if you work in the NHS you should trust Labour?

  • Chris Hobson

    The NHS has more workers than anything in the UK, yet you get served faster at McDonalds or Argos…go figure.

    • Sue Smith

      This comment is not one bit surprising.

      • ohforheavensake

        Nope: this comment is more than a bit stupid.

        • Sue Smith

          I think the writer means that you end up sitting around for hours and hours and hours in the national health system.

          • ohforheavensake

            And the writer hasn’t noticed that the NHS isn’t a market. So the comparison doesn’t work.

          • Sue Smith

            Well, it’s time that it WAS a market – just like any other. The nationalization of health is a hang-over from the days when people regarded doctors as gods; a one-legged anachronism.

          • ohforheavensake

            Nope. It’s not a market. And healthcare can’t function as a market.

          • Sue Smith

            Utter rubbish. I have private health insurance and when I have an operation I shop around for a decent surgeon and anaesthetist. And it works efficiently and well. The public system should ONLY be used for big, serious operations and cases.

          • ohforheavensake

            In healthcare, what is the commodity? How is that commodity quantified? Is there sufficient information symmetry to enable informed choice? Are there steady flows of raw material which the market can source? Is there a system which always guarantees that at every point the customer (presumably the patient) can exercise a rational choice between competing providers?

          • 1Gandydancer

            The NHS certainly isn’t that system, no.

          • Alex

            Will you shop around for the comfiest ambulance when you’re having a heart attack? It’s astounding that people think healthcare is just another market. Markets only work where there is meaningful consumer choice.

          • Sue Smith

            There IS meaningful choice; private hospitals. At least in Australia, where private is owned by separate companies and there are lots of them. I cannot speak for the UK. I only say what doesn’t work.

          • Alex

            How is it meaningful? Are some of them half price but only half cure you? How do you decide between them while having your heart attack?

          • Sue Smith

            You need to read what I’ve written elsewhere on this page. Otherwise, take the rest of the week off!!

          • Sue Smith

            You obviously have zero understanding of how it all works. Pity. But that comes from sucking on the NHS teat and not knowing any other way. I don’t blame you.

          • Alex

            Yes, quite. Whenever the going gets tough – or unprofitable – private hospitals immediately farm out patients to the nearest NHS hospital. The taxpayer pays double, the NHS pays more too and cannot plan. The only winners are the private healthcare companies, and the politicians who hold shares in them.

          • Seax

            So why comment at all?

          • Sue Smith

            I pay EXTRA on my private insurance for an ambulance, so I use the only one available and WHICH CHARGES patients quite a lot of money. A bit like a taxi, really!! The costs are HUGE in Australia for the State’s ambulance service. Don’t tell me that isn’t a commodity.

          • commenteer

            Unfortunately there’s no current alternative to the NHS for emergency care. It will come.

          • Seax

            Yup, they will check you credit rating when you are a bleeding victim.

            No cashie no likie.

          • commenteer

            Like hospitals in the rest of the world, you mean?

          • 1Gandydancer

            What’s stopping you from arranging for ambulance service before your heart attack? That’s one of the services you can get by purchasing insurance, and insurance that doesn’t get you acceptable ambulances will lose premiums. But why would NHS care?

          • Seax

            Perhaps you can tell me what your insurance does for end stage renal failure?
            Or, what would have happened had you needed intensive care when under the private knife?

            You guessed it; the private sector send you to the NHS.

            You are a bit deluded.

          • Sue Smith

            Yes, I’m deluded. No point trying to make you understand that my insurance picks up the tab for me to use my own doctor when I have end stage renal failure, and intensive care costs etc. etc. etc.

          • Seax

            So should all services be paid for at the point of use?

            Or only the services you don’t, currently, use?

            And what if you get an expensive illness which you cannot afford. What then? You will be happy to die for want of treatment or do you expect someone rich to save you?

          • HJ777

            You are aware, of course that other European countries that have universal coverage rely on social insurance systems.

            The hospital (or whatever facility) knows you will be covered so they sort out the payment when appropriate. It doesn’t get in the way of treatment.

          • Sue Smith

            I pay only if the specialist or doctor charges BEYOND the health insurance company scheduled benefit. Otherwise, no out of pocket costs for me in either the public or private system.

  • fundamentallyflawed

    This junior doctor already has the arrogance of her more senior peers – UK training in action. “a little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing” AKA “we know best”.. The plans don’t remove out of hours incentives they adjust the hours to a more suitable time scale, they include across the board pay rises for all junior doctors yet she wants to incentivise more drs to work weekends – how much money do they want? I would presume that most Drs who do not work weekends do so because they earn so much from day to day NHS work (plus private work and other ventures) they don’t need to.

    • ohforheavensake

      Oh, come on. She’s at the end of her tether.

      • Sue Smith

        Private practice; only way to go!!

      • Kennybhoy

        Pretty short tether.

    • andytheonlyhammer

      Most junior Dr’s do not work with inprivate practice.

  • Sue Smith

    Which part of nationalized, free health care and disaster don’t you people get? This system never works in any country; when you pay nothing, nothing is what you get. Only trouble is that nowadays you are paying more and more and more and getting the same; LESS.

    People need to pay for things that are worthwhile – otherwise freebies are just another white elephant where nobody wins. The game is up with freebies.

    • ohforheavensake

      We’re not paying more. Ringfencing the NHS budget has actually meant that the amount we spend on the service is going down proportionately (given that health inflation is higher than inflation in the economy as a whole). On top of this, the NHS has been asked to make £22billion in economies- which is entirely impossible.

      We already spend less than most developed countries on healthcare: and the level’s going down.

  • Jacobi

    ” I used to trust the Tories. Not any more”

    Well I don’t trust doctors any more, junior or senior.

    My wife and I have both had some to do with doctors recently and without exception it has been one cock-up after another almost without exception. Mistakes due to carelessness, ignorance, incompetence and total refusal to look at the patient, ask what the matter is – and listen to the answer – as oppose to ticking a box with a nice smile.

    Heavens knows what salary you all draw 40/60 £K but few of you deserve it.

    As for more people dying at the weekend, well of course they do!!

    Only ill people are in at the weekend. All the others have been sent home to ease the week-end plight of the doctors!

    • Sue Smith

      Friends and relatives here in Australia who are doctors agree with me; unless you’ve got somebody batting for you in the public health system you’ll leave via a pine box. This is currently a startling reality with the health system.

      In Australia here I had a chronically ill son who had 35 admissions before age 18. Once, when I had left his elder brother on ‘sentry duty’ so I could return home to care for my other 3 children, I returned to the ward to find my ill son unable to speak or communicate. I walked into the next room and spoke to the nurse, “my son can’t speak; what’s happened to him”. She replied, “he was OK five minutes ago when I was in there” (not true). I told her, ‘please come and look at him right now’. She said, “I’m busy but will get there as soon as I can”. I replied, “you have got 5 minutes after which time I’ll go into that corridor and scream at the top of my lungs”. Within 3 minutes 3 doctors arrived and my son was given injections to reverse his stupor (which was medication-induced in the first place).

      • Jacobi

        You did the right thing. Well I wouldn’t scream of course, being a bloke, but would certainly be somewhat firm, as I have been recently!
        By the way I live in UK but have relatives in Belgium. They tell me it is exactly the same there. We are dealing a near universal tick box mentality.
        Now I am sure there are one or two conscientious doctors out there, and my apologies, to them. But they should realise how we, the customer who pays their wages, feels.

        • Sue Smith

          Believe me, when your child’s life and health is in jeopardy you WILL scream! I didn’t care what they thought of me, but the sight of my son like that….it sends a mother over the edge and I got the results!! But it was the fact I HAD to do it…!!

          • Jacobi

            Understood!

      • Kennybhoy

        Good girl! God bless!

      • andytheonlyhammer

        If the nurse lied then you should report then to the nmc . That is extreamly serious it is also extreamly rare. The nurse should have been disciplined.

    • HJ777

      Anyone would be a fool to trust the BMA. It is a trade union and it has but one objective – and that isn’t the interests of patients.

      It wasn’t very long ago that the editor of the Lancet criticised the BMA of wilfully misrepresenting the reforms under the last Labour government. They do it with all governments.

      • andytheonlyhammer

        Who is more trustworthy Jeremy Hunt or thr bma. Do not forget How much Hunt has lied about the NHS.

        • HJ777

          Jeremy Hunt, obviously. What incentive has he to lie? He could just settle for a quiet life.

          All parties provided their inputs to the independent pay/conditions review body. Most (not all) of the BMAs inputs were rejected by this body. Hunt is merely saying that the review body’s recommendations should be the basis for any agreement. The BMA refuse to accept this and have declined to negotiate.

          The BMA is not to be trusted.

          • andytheonlyhammer

            Ha ha .are you realy saying that the man who did everything to facilitate murdoch consolidating his media empire at a time when Every educated person in the country was well aware of murdochs empire had been twisting democracy and threatening people who tried to expose his newspapers had been hacking vulnerable peoples phone records. Is this the same hunt who has been a supporter of privatising the nhs for years before he was made minister for health. Is this the same hunt who pretented that research suggested that patients brought into hospoital on weekends are more likly to to die because of understaffing when it is clear that weekend admissions are different to weekday admissions. Yes this paragon of honesty hunt why on earth would he lie. The fact is that if he had a shred of honesty there would be no prospect of a strike. Dr,s are by far the most conservative of any public sector profession they are the least radical and if they are on the verge of striking then we should ask what has pushed them. It is not about closing the deficit if it was gideon would not have cut taxes for big business and millionaire. This is an ideologically driven attack on the public sector.

          • HJ777

            Come off it.

            Hunt is prepared to respect the conclusions of the independent review body. The BMA is not – it won’t even negotiate a deal based on its report.

            Practically every Health Secretary later says the same thing about the BMA – they are an awkward self-interested bunch who only look after their own interests, no matter how much they have to misrepresent the situation to the public.

          • andytheonlyhammer

            Are you joking hunt is out to hammer medics he has not negotiated in good faith on any level. Hunt is one of the most dishonest politicians of the last 30 years and i include blair in the last 30 years. The idea that medics are only self interseted is nonsense. By the way i am not a medic i am a nurse. Yes some medics are self interested but on balance that is not true. The nhs staff i work with are by far the most dedicated bunch of people i have ever worked with. Before i trained as a nurse i was a exceptionally unmotivated individual who worked in a number of jobs surounded by many other very unmotivated peopke since i have worked in the nhs i have worked much harder than i have ever done before . The bottom line is people like myself work harder if the stakes are high like they are in the nhs. One of my previous jobs was working for coca cola and i can confirm that i simply did not care how many bottles of coke my line made wheras i care about every patient that i work with. People like hunt do not understand the nhs or why we work so hard. I suspect it is because people like hunt are unable to understand that health care professionals care so much about the job that they do because all he understands is about the need of cutting tax for millionaires. There is simply nothing that hunt can say that willbe believed because he misunderstands us so muchand his values are so far removed from the average healthcare worker

          • HJ777

            There is very little reasoning with a rant like that.

            Hunt, the BMA and other organisations provided their input to the independent review. Hunt is prepared to accept their report as the basis for an agreement. The BMA is not.

            You can rant all you like but that is the fact of the matter.

          • andytheonlyhammer

            Are you emloyed by conservative central office?

          • HJ777

            No, are you employed by a public sector trade union?

            I note you have no answer to the fact that the BMA rejects the independent review body’s report. Not Hunt’s report – the independent review body’s.

          • andytheonlyhammer

            no not employed by a Public sector union just someone who has been aware of the poison spewed by the torys about the nhs for years. And you have no answer to the fact that the torys have been ignoring pay review recomendations as well.

          • HJ777

            When somebody uses ridiculous terms like “poison spewed by the (sic) torys about the nhs for years” I know I am not dealing with a rational individual – just one motivated by tribal stupidity and hatred.

            Governments cannot always accept the recommendations of pay review bodies because sometimes they have to make a judgement on affordability and the public finances. However, in this case they have made clear that they are prepared to negotiate a deal based closely on the review body’s report – but the BMA won’t accept this and refuses to negotiate.

          • andytheonlyhammer

            Hunt has not at any point made any serious attempt to negotiate.

          • andytheonlyhammer

            The torys have not respected independant pay review recomendations before and will likely continue to ignore them.

          • andytheonlyhammer

            Are you saying that you are unable to understand that people in the nhs work very hard because they care more about the work that they do than a person who works for coca cola? Or are you saying that you do not understand how people can distrust the motives of jeremy hunt who is a long time supporter of both privatisation and murdoch? Or are you saying that the the torys have not disregarded independant pay recomendations fornhs staff in the past. Hie do you explain hunt pretending that increased death rates at weekends are due to lower staff levels when it is clear that you are not comparing the same type of admissions?

          • HJ777

            I have no knowledge of Coca-Cola, but I’d be surprised if some people there don’t work very hard indeed.

            There are hard working people in all large organisations and wasters too. I have seen no evidence that NHS staff work harder in general than those in private businesses. If you have any, let’s see it (not assertions, evidence).

          • andytheonlyhammer

            Sorry just lots and lots of examples i have seen i am a perfect example of this. I am unmotivated to make people rich and highly motivated to make people better. Think about it all you have to do is forget the poison in certain parts of the press about the nhs and it makes sense

    • Kennybhoy

      Hear! Hear!

  • Alex

    “First they came for” springs to mind.

    The professions and their membership now face the same fate as the unions and their membership last time the Tories were in.

    They should have swallowed their hubris and replaced it with solidarity with low-paid workers at that time.

    The middle classes really thought the Thatcherites cared about them, it’s so cute.

    • Seax

      I predicted this state of affairs 10 years ago.As far as the rich are concerned, the Middle Class are just another resource o exploit now they have taken everything from the oiks.

      • Alex

        I have been saying it for several years too. I am middle-class, but their stupendous levels of self-delusion have always been apparent to me.

  • JonBW

    5000 people in hospital who could be discharged if there was adequate care in their own homes.
    That’s the root of most of the problems facing the NHS: until we fix social care there is no future for the health service except perpetual crisis.

    • Seax

      You need to end agency nursing which is an expensive drain on the public purse. I woulder if there is a political lobby group for nursing agency companies?

    • 1Gandydancer

      There is no future for the NHS except perpetual crisis. Period. Full stop.

    • andytheonlyhammer

      That and underfunding of the nhs

      • JonBW

        I’ve worked in the NHS and I don’t believe it’s under-funded.

        There is huge and indefensible waste, which together with the structural problem of free health care interacting with means tested personal care, explains the current crisis..

        • andytheonlyhammer

          Compare what we spend to other comparable countries and it is clear we are underfunded

          • JonBW

            We spend less because we have a system funded entirely from taxation: the countries that spend more on health do so because they have insurance-based systems.

          • andytheonlyhammer

            I do not doubt that we get far more for our money because we get health care from general taxation and that is why we get much more bang for out book . What we need to do is match our competetor countries and spend an equal amount of money on the nhs instead of giving tax cuts to millionaires

          • JonBW

            I was making exactly the opposite point: our European neighbours generally spend more on health than we do (and therefore have better services and outcomes).

            In most cases, this is because they have more private health provision and because their services are not government-run. Public healthcare is funded through insurance-based schemes rather than state provision.

            We might actually have better services if we reduced taxation and relied more on individuals providing for themselves. If they did, the improved services and increased capacity would benefit those who cannot afford private care as well as those who can.

          • andytheonlyhammer

            But this is not what has hapenned in the usa.

          • JonBW

            No, but they didn’t have any significant health care funding.

            The US and UK are the end points on a fairly long contiuum: I think that the best place is somewhere in the middle.

  • slyblade

    This is typical of the type of people who vote Conservative based on the lies and propaganda fed to them by the MSM. I assume she has a reasonable IQ but she pays little or no attention to the political party they vote for. Sucked in by a few headlines in the daily mail or telegraph they think they are voting for a party that cares about the NHS, but had she and the 11 million sheep paid a Little more attention to the proper news she would have known a few facts. Cameron is not a conservative nor are most of the MP’s that wear the blue rosette. Cameron would dearly love to privatize more of the NHS if he thinks he can get away with it. Cameron cares only for large corporate sponsorship and donations to the faux conservative party. I hope that she has now learnt the truth about Cameron and the Faux conservative party.

    • 1Gandydancer

      “Cameron is not a conservative…” This is true, but since you seem to think that preserving a socialized NHS is “conservative” I wonder what it means when you say it.

  • Pioneer

    You can have mass immigration or you can have the NHS. You can’t have both.

    • justejudexultionis

      I agree, but the Tories seem to want to destroy the NHS entirely, so perhaps mass immigration is in their long-term interest, as it was for the Blairite hypocrites.

  • justejudexultionis

    The real enemies of the NHS are all those lazy parasite middle managers they employ in order to milk the system dry. Those people are absolute scum with their £100K p.a. salaries, huge bonuses and pensions etc., all given at taxpayers’ expense and to the massive detriment of the quality of healthcare in this country. The bitter fruits of capitalism.

    • HJ777

      That’s quite amusing.

      You go on about supposedly terrible parasites and undeserved high pay of employees in a publicly-run system and then you blame capitalism.

      Twit.

      • Seax

        They tried to privatise the NHS and imported in managers from bean canning factories. That is why capitalism is blamed for bad management. The NHS got idiots foisted upon them whilst having their budget reduced and idiot initiatives (to hasten privatisation) installed.

        On top of that, the management are grinding the faces of their staff intio the dirt so much that nurses are leaving in droves and new immigrant nurses have to be dragged in from all corners of the world.

        But this is what Tories want: Immigration. Oh, and they don’t want it either.

        • HJ777

          Whatever you think the government tried to do, how is capitalism responsible for that?

          If you don’t like government decisions, blame the government, not capitalism.

        • Sue Smith

          I know of an excellent “facility” that can deal with all your problems.

  • Tamerlane

    Weak management breeds lazy staff, no more proof needed than this article. You work hard, you do the donkey work? That’s right, you’re a junior doctor, like a trainee lawyer. One day, when you’ve proved yourself you can earn the big bucks and charge your private patients two hundred an hour on top of your NHS salary. That’s how it works.

    Cry me a river.

    • Alex

      For how many years os training appropriate? A law training contract is two years, not two decades. Even failing that, why should doctors stay when they can earn more abroad? Or is it only a free market for certain people – the usual right-wing hypocrisy?

      • 1Gandydancer

        They earn more abroad because you’ve socialized medicine and the effects are…. “right-wing” hypocrisy???

        Leftys are never responsible for the effects of their screw-ups.

        • Sue Smith

          Hallelluja brother!!!

        • Ubergroover

          “Leftys are never responsible for the effects of their screw-ups.”

          Ha ha ha ha ha… priceless. Didn’t think wingnuts had a sense of humour…

          • 1Gandydancer

            I guess you’ve disproved that by laughing. But it’s a warped sense of humour.

      • Tamerlane

        No hypocrisy. Entirely consistent. If you don’t know the meaning of a word don’t use it. Stop splitting hairs little boy, if it’s all all you have you don’t have an argument.

        • Alex

          You don’t have much of an argument either if all you can do is assert in a loud voice. Then again, you are a right-winger.

  • Seax

    …and then they came for the Doctors but there was no-one left to defend me.

    • 1Gandydancer

      Unless you’re a doctor you’ve got the sense of the quote wrong.

  • Seax

    At a weekend, go to the staff carparks in a hospital.

    The empty car parks are those that are ring-fenced for managers.
    Meanwhile, nurses and junior doctors will struggle to find a car parking space despite the empty slots for managers.

    This sums up the NHS nicely.

    • HJ777

      Recently, I took my elderly mother to a NHS hospital for a small, day case, operation.

      We had to park in the multi-storey car park a couple of hundred metres away from the building. Surrounding the building were reserved parking places – reserved for senior medical staff (and quite a hierarchy of seniority vs places it was).

      This sort of thing died out decades ago in private industry. I can’t remember the last time I was at a company where there were reserved parking places other, of course, for the best places nearest the building being reserved for customers and visitors.

      • Sue Smith

        Why are you worried about parking when critical care is involved? PRIORITIES.

        • 1Gandydancer

          If the patients aren’t a priority when the parking spaces are handed out what makes you think they’ll become a priority when critical care decisions are being made? The one observation is diagnostic of the other.

          • andytheonlyhammer

            Its a myth

          • 1Gandydancer

            I should believe you, or my own lying eyes?

          • HJ777

            If you think it’s a myth, then I suggest that you visit the Lister Hospital in Stevenage and you will see that the myth is, in fact, reality.

          • andytheonlyhammer

            It is a myth that patients are not the priority in the nhs . Nhs staff have had terms and conditions eroded for years now that would of course not be the case if the nhs priority was to nhs staff. If the nhs was set up for staff then wages would not have fallen after inflation has been taken into account , workloads would not have increased after services had been cut, pensions would not have been cut and if the staff were running the show we would not have spending on healthcare lower than comparable countries. I could go on here but you should get the point

        • HJ777

          I was commenting on a post that referred to car parks. Why aren’t patients given priority, do you suppose?

          • Fraser Bailey

            Patients are not given priority because, as we all know, the NHS is run for the benefit of the managers, clinical staff and assorted other employees. The patients are merely the stooges.

          • andytheonlyhammer

            Possibly the most misinformed post i have ever read.

          • andyrwebman

            One doctor being delayed might cause a lot more problems than one patient being delayed.

          • HJ777

            Delayed by what? Having to factor in parking in a multi-storey and walking for a couple of minutes?

            In my mother’s case, her eyesight problem meant that being able to park much nearer would have saved her from some inconvenience and difficulty.

          • andytheonlyhammer

            It is a myth that nhs staff have excellent parking if anything in the nhs trust i work for patient parking is better but only slightly better because it is all crap.

          • HJ777

            Not in my experience. I could scarcely believe it when I took my mother for treatment recently.

      • andytheonlyhammer

        In the nhs trust i work there is no protected parking for staff

        • HJ777

          That’s not my experience. Not only protected but ridiculously hierarchical.

          • andytheonlyhammer

            I can confirm that in the trust that i work for that is not the case

  • IainRMuir

    I’d have more concern for the problems that doctors face if they were prepared to condemn sub standard performance among their colleagues from time to time. The consequences of their ability to look the other way have been well publicised.

    Not fair to single out militant trade unionists and leave doctors untouched.

    • Kennybhoy

      Hear. Hear!

    • Terry Field

      NHS
      reminds one of murder Inc.
      A horrific entity

  • andytheonlyhammer

    Perhaps we should start with the root cause of the difficulties in the NHS. It is clear that the NHS is underfunded. If we compare spending as a proportion of GDP against almost any similar country we will find that the UK spends a very low proportion on health. Eventually we will get the NHS we deserve if we continue this underfunding. we are cutting spending both as a proportion of GDP and spending per head of population and this trend is due to continue at a time when our population is both aging and growing.

    • HJ777

      The OECD says we spend ‘about the average’ of its members (we are currently very slightly below the average).

      The Economist Intelligence Unit also looked at funding and found that the main reason we spend less than (for example) France and Germany is not down to lower government spending, it is down to lower private spending. Given that we still have a huge budget deficit, surely finding ways to encourage greater private spending is the solution – currently it is far more difficult to supplement NHS medical treatment than it is to supplement social-insurance based systems.

      • Terry Field

        Aaaah, a little light bulb has gone on in your societies head. Well done.
        Take care, or Corbyn will send you to the Cardiff gulag one day.

      • andytheonlyhammer

        We only spend about the average of the OECD because there are countries in the OECD like Mexico that will drag the average down. Mexico will spend 6 percent of GDP on health spending and other countries such as Poland 6.7 percent. That is why i sugestef that we compare the UK with similar countries such as France that will spend about 11.7 percent or Denmark at 10.7. Possibley the worst health care model out there is the one in the USA which consumes a huge percentage of GDP at 17.1. Where medical staff are paid huge salaries. There are many other ways to save money that do not start with eroding the proportion of money spent on healthcare for example if closing the deficit were realy a priority would Gideon realy have started with so many tax cuts to the top rate of income tax, inheritance tax and corperation tax?
        Your idea to have a greater proportion of spending on health paid privately would of course lead to a two tier system of health care at best and at worst the car crash that is the usa model which is both by far the most expensive in the world as well as not being very good.

        • HJ777

          You could equally argue that we only spend about the average because countries like the USA drag the average up. Without the USA (which is an outlier) we would spend more than the average.

          The cut in the top rate of income tax is forecast to ‘cost’ practically nothing, according to HMRC analysis. Higher rates of taxation do not automatically result in higher tax revenue. Similarly, corporation tax receipts have risen in many countries that have reduced rates. And you forget the dynamic effects of lower taxes – higher taxes suppress economic activity and discourage investment.

          Other European countries have a higher proportion/level of private funding yet don’t suffer from the health inequities you say will be the result. Indeed, what we have here is a two tier system – those who can afford private care and those who cannot and have to rely solely on the NHS. Under social insurance systems (as in much of Europe), supplementing the insured care (rather than substituting for it) is much easier.

          • andytheonlyhammer

            You are slightly missing the point. I am suggesting that we should not compare ourselfs against countries like mexico and poland becuase they are much poorer than we are . We should be comparing ourself against countries with similar levels of development like france, germany and the usa if we do that then we will soon see that we spend a much lower percentage of gdp on health than comparable countries. If it is clear that other similar countries can afford higher spending on health then the uk can also afford to spend similar levels . The point is we do not value health in the same way as many other similar countries and that is why the NHS is struggling.

          • HJ777

            The fact that they are poorer than we are would only be significant if you were considering spending in cash terms. As we are considering spending as a percentage of GDP, your point is invalid.

            Countries with similar level of development like Finland, Italy, Spain and Norway spend very similar percentages of GDP. Most countries governments do not spend significantly higher percentages of GDP than ours do – and many spend less. Private levels of spending are higher in most countries.

          • andytheonlyhammer

            Yes i do not doubt that the total amount of tax can increase when you cut tax rates that is of course the nature of capitalism . That is not the point the point is if the higher rates of tax would have brought in more tax during that articular year. If low tax rates were the be all and end all of economic growth then the northern european countries would as higher txed economies be broke. The fact that the northern european economies are both richer than us and have higher tax rates makes it clear that this idea that lower tax rates translate into higher growth.

          • HJ777

            Thats not what HMRC said. It’s analysis was a purely static analysis.

            Most Northern European countries are not richer than us but the do benefit from more efficiently provided medical and other public services. For example, the Nordic countries score very highly on indices of economic freedom, because they have fewer public sector monopolies.

          • andytheonlyhammer

            Yes most of the northern european countries are richer than us go look it up.

          • Docman

            A common hospital scenario is the patient who accesses private health care, for a first assessment, and then jumps back to the NHS for anything complicated – which the NHS is pretty good at.
            All perfectly legal and above board.
            Don’t really see the private sector lining up to do the difficult cases in big numbers, nor the elderly patients with multiple comorbidities.

      • Docman

        Clever.
        Underfund a reasonable system to make it function poorly.
        Then let the private companies in to lucrative cherry-picked contracts.

        • HJ777

          I’m sure you have lots of other conspiracy theories. People like you always do.

          PFI was about financing, not contracting. The last Labour government used it to spend the money without adding to the (recognised) national debt but to push the cost into the future. It was so desperate to do this, it signed many poor value PFI deals.

          Bad deals though many were, they were hardly the fault of the current government which inherited them, and their overall cost in relation to the total NHS budget is relatively small compared to the pay bill.

          Far from not paying junior medics well, the government has said that any deal will be closely based on the independent review body’s report. It’s the BMA that rejects this even though they had, and used, ample opportunity to provide their input.

        • perdix

          Most of the PFI contracts were set up by Labour. And that from Gordon Brown who said that PFI was ” a cynical distortion of the public accounts” when the Tories made a few!

          • Docman

            You are right….I agree!
            The PFI contracts were probably one of the biggest stains on the last governments record.

    • Upright Man

      Being a nation of hypochondriacs is not something to aspire to. Nor is blindly overpaying the health industry.

      • andytheonlyhammer

        The UK is certainly not overpaying for our healthcare model we are lucky enough to have one of the best healthcare models in the world at well below the average share of GDP spent on health in the UK.

        • Upright Man

          You’re not making a case for spending more.

          • andytheonlyhammer

            I am only making the case for spending what similar countries spend on health care . We have been getting a silver medal style health service when spending well below average on health care for years. At a time when we have an aging population the least we can do is spend what is considered an average spend on health care.

          • HJ777

            The OECD says we spend ‘about the average’ but get a ‘lower than average quality and quantity’ of provision for our money.

            http://www.oecd.org/unitedkingdom/46507653.pdf

    • Terry Field

      It is an insane Soviet style system. An international joke, and very dangerous for the British inmates.

      • andytheonlyhammer

        I think when you refer to an insane joke you must be making a referrance to the model of health care in the USA.

        • HJ777

          Unfortunately, in the USA, the producer interest, in the form of the AMA is even more powerful than it is here. They have exploited medical licensure to keep down the number of medics n order to inflate salaries.

        • Terry Field

          How predictable.
          No I am not, you parochial idiot.

          • andytheonlyhammer

            Ha ha ha you do make me laugh

          • Docman

            You are rude.

          • Terry Field

            Indeed; some idiots richly deserve it.

      • Docman

        The joke is we have a Health Minister who knows nothing about healthcare.

        • Terry Field

          No, the ‘joke’ (strange, juvenile language you use) is not Mr Hunt, a highly competent man, but the absurd Soviet style and truly murderous NHS model you are deranged enough to admire.

          • Craig Leaper

            Mr Hunt is trying to push through a major change. Tens of thousands of junior doctors, hundreds of consultants and even our normally very quiet and diplomatic Royal Colleges have said very vocally that what he is trying to do is not only wrong, but also dangerous. Even if you don’t understand all the issues, you would hope in the face of such a body of professional expertise, any competent man would consider to pausing for thought.

          • Terry Field

            What ‘major change’? Private business does more radical stuff every day of the week. You live in dreams.
            The ‘body of professional expertise’ is conservative, left-leaning, highly resistant to change, concerned with members rather than service consumers (patients) and they sound just like a trade union body.
            Why would anyone consider such foolishness?
            Normally quiet?The BMA – normally quiet?
            EVERY action of government is filtered through their membership-interest lens.
            Come on!!!!!

    • jonkle

      The NHS will always be underfunded, it is a black hole; you could pour hundreds of £ billions into it, and it will still be underfunded. Free health care is a bottomless pit of demand that will never be satisfied, there will always be queues and waiting lists. Powerful trade unions that control NHS workers will never allow radical changes to address the problems.
      The NHS is doomed.

      • Docman

        So, why do we only spend 9% GDP on health care, lower than most developed economies?
        We have the lowest doctor to population ratios of similar countries.

        • perdix

          I remember some years ago the Labour government promising that the percentage of GDP spent in the UK would be equal to the average in Europe. I believe that level was reached. What happened?

        • jonkle

          A few points:-
          – I would question whether GDP is a good measure. The UK are 9th highest in the world in IMF GDP rankings, so they may be spending more per capita than most developed countries, despite showing lower spending as a percentage of GDP.
          – Some countries spending more on health per capita than the UK, may be spending more in the private healthcare sector.
          – It depends where countries spend money on healthcare e.g. they may charge for GP appointments and prescriptions within an otherwise publicly funded system.

          As far as doctor ratio is concerned, then I would agree, you can invest in training and attracting more doctors, but that would be a finite and worthwhile expenditure, not a bottomless pit.

          • Docman

            Thanks.
            I think percentage GDP is a good general place to start making comparisons. Health economists use it , so I think it is part of the funding “vocabulary”.
            We could go to the American system and pay 14 to 15%. Even middle class Americans have difficulty covering their health costs, and several million have completely inadequate cover. So, not a system to emulate.
            I think you imply we will need a mixed system based on insurance schemes, which may be inevitable.
            The public will then have to accept more health costs.
            I also agree we need to catch up, and train more health care professionals. That solution will need a signal that junior doctors will have decent Ts and Cs, and be paid fairly.

          • jonkle

            I agree, a mixed publicly funded/private system giving patients a not entirely free healthcare system depending on circumstances. They need to drop the political ideology, and provide what is best for for patients with motivated well rewarded professionals.

          • Docman

            The ideology is most clearly demonstrated from the government, with a messianic aim to shrink the state.
            The juniors ideology is to avoid being shafted, while doing a job.

          • jonkle

            Both sides need to drop the ideology, sit down together, and sort it out.

          • Terry Field

            The state is utterly gigantic, grotesquely inefficient and most certainly should be very greatly reduced in size. Heard of the debt, wally?

          • Terry Field

            Most countries have this, plus massive private capacity, fully integrated and universal. Thus much more money, many more local;y trained doctors, nurses, technical people and ancillaries. Without importing hordes of cheap foreign labour, thus abusing poorer country systems. The NHS stinks to high heaven.

  • andyrwebman

    I wonder if we can get a comment by the author, to tell us what adjustments would need to be made to the proposals to make her satisfied with them?

    Not looking to be argumentative, I genuinely would like to know

  • Terry Field

    I love the arrogance of these medics.
    The contract properly integrates them into the 7 day system.
    It removes the ludicrous overtime premiums.
    THEY SHOULD INTEGRATE AS SKILLED STAFF.
    They have an absurd self image, are overpaid by international standards, and work in a protected Soviet type system.
    They offer poor value for money now.
    That needs to change.
    Good for Hunt.

    • Craig Leaper

      Junior Doctors are already working weekends, evenings and nights, on top of already providing a Mon to Fri service. The evidence for a significant improvement in mortality by increasing their presence at the weekend is limited, especially when measured against the 30% reduction in manpower during the week that would be required to cover it, and the cost to do it properly as additional ancillary services would also be required – this is just simple logistics which Mr Hunt is ignoring. Not sure how much this gentleman actually thinks I am earning, but just to make it clear I would personally be more than happy to take an equivalent of a 10% increase in my tax next year to support the NHS and social services, but it needs 10% from everyone, not just me.

      • Terry Field

        Your first few points are the same that are repeated by any number of employed technical people who like restrictive practices. Three decades ago the union barons destroyed industry with strike anarchy to support such self-interest.
        As for earnings, you know damn well how the absurd UK healthcare system works. You move to become consultants and then refer the desperate out of the soviet straightjacket of the system to each others private practices, where your incomes are gigantic when compared to nearly every other more civilised country.

        Or you become GPs and earn composite incomes that dwarf those of nearly all your continental colleagues, who actually see their patients out of hours, and don’t bunk off and leave the poor sods to the tender mercies of the likes of out-of-hours doctor-agencies composed in the main of imported, bemused doctors who can not treat effectively.

        The comments you make about mortality shows you do not give a tinkers cuss for providing the sort of service commonly found in many other – much superior – healthcare systems.
        Arrogance.
        Typical medic.
        Smell the coffee; your tin god status is long gone.
        And not before time.

  • Sean Grainger

    I think Mr Field has nailed it but I was going to ask for the numbers. As Private Eye says “exclusive to all newspapers” is not running the numbers. We need what my accountant brother calls a T-chart — on the left what happpens now and on the right what Hunt is proposing. Then we can deploy our Hewlett-Packard 12Cs to discount it all. We do not need the emotion of “service we love”. I buy a lot of healthcare outside the UK because it is far better.

    • Terry Field

      Thank you. I also use much more overseas healthcare; it leaves the UK’s dreadful system for dead. (Just as the NHS often does with it’s patents)

    • Docman

      Excellent!
      Reform the NHS with the ideas of an account net, and a tricksy spreadsheet!

      • seangrainger

        You obviously can’t read mate

  • thomasaikenhead

    ” It needs not just money but carefully thought-out reform — as well as a strong economy to support it.”

    Rubbish!

    Just look at the Cuban healthcare system, run on a shoestring for peanuts but vastly superior to the overmanned NHS run for the benefit of vested interest who work there like senior management and the doctor mafia!

    • Texas Sunday Morning

      Cuba is healthy for the same reason wartime Britain was; rationing and full employment.

  • Chris

    They wanted the Tories so they could cut the their tax bill, then moan when they ask them to work weekends.

    • OldPete

      They work weekends already and they work hard.

  • Craig Leaper

    You do not need a GCSE in Maths to realise that if you take junior doctors from the week and put them on the weekends, you will compromise the service that is provided during the week – simple maths and logistics. We just do not have the numbers to do this. My own Trust is currently desperate to fill 110 hours of locum medical registrar shifts this month as it is. On top of that, junior doctors are not miracle workers, and without the support of additional radiographers, physios, OT, etc., getting more of us in in the weekend will make little difference – it is a team effort …. and this is without even considering the paper Mr Hunt keeps quoting about the 11,000 excess deaths, which clearly states that “to say these deaths are preventable would be rash and misleading”.

    With all that, it is not surprising that tens of thousands of junior doctors, hundreds of consultants and several Royal Colleges are stunned Mr Hunt can ignore the fatal flaws in his grand Alice in Wonderland plans. To push through such a major expansion of working practice, with little evidence it will actually make that much difference, with no additional resource, and whilst the NHS is currently in financial dire straits trying to provide the service it currently does is just madness….

  • jeffersonian

    ‘I’m a junior doctor and I used to trust the Tories. Not any more’

    I’m a patient and I used to trust doctors. Not any more.

    • bengeo

      Try “New German Medicine” then.

  • Mrs Crewe

    Oh boo hoo I’m working a job which will quickly earn me far more than the average worker can ever imagine. Go cry me a river, stop whining and work your apprenticeship. Believe me those who went before you worked far more hours for far less money and didn’t whinge as much as this bunch of spoilt little darlings.

    • Texas Sunday Morning

      I’m intrigued as to whether you express the same feelings when bankers throw their regular tantrums about upping sticks to some despotic entrepôt.

  • Sean L

    Every professional or business person works till the job is done. And striking is inconceivable in the productive sector. What is someone with your attitude even doing in such a role? If you want “overtime”, get a job in Tesco. Pathetic.

    • Texas Sunday Morning

      “The productive sector”, I.e. primary resource extraction employs around 2% of the UK workforce. Not sure the relevance. Or were you trying, and failing, to do a bit of Orwellian newspeak there?

  • Torybushhug

    Almost every Asian I know wants their child to be a Doctor so as to capture status and wealth. My mate is a pensions specialist advising only GP’s and routinely see’s £4m pension pots.

    • Texas Sunday Morning

      GPs are independent contractors, not NHS staff.

  • Torybushhug

    Lots of people in business have to invest their time and money long before they get comfortable.
    Not sure why Docs feel entitled to more long term wealth.

    Also a common refrain is that Doctors claim they are not in it for the money, an Asian Doc in the QT audience made this virtue signalling point a few months back and the daft crowd auto – applauded.

  • Blindsideflanker

    It seems to me the Junior Doctors ( ridiculous name) strike is about them trying to protect their over time pay.

    • Alex

      Yes, heaven forbid we should pay people at the market rate for the work they do.

      • Sheumais

        Heaven forbid we should pay them for the job they signed-up for and not guarantee overtime when we’re already struggling to maintain funding of an increasingly costly service.

  • Flintshire Ian

    Maybe we the taxpayer ought to ensure value for our £230k by refusing to confirm the registration to an overseas body of any Doctor who tries to do a runner to somewhere warmer and easier unless they have done at least 10 years full time work in the NHS?

  • Polly Radical

    Why is the taxpayer paying for the training of doctors?
    We don’t pay for the training of accountants, lawyers or electricians.

    • Texas Sunday Morning

      Yes, we do. Undergraduate degrees necessary for law and accountancy, even with the tuition fee hike, are subsidised by government. Apprenticeships for electricians similarly attract government largesse. For all three, firms which provide ongoing training for staff are given tax incentives by the government for doing so.

      • Polly Radical

        That’s obviously not the same as paying the entire cost up front, is it?

  • MikeH

    If these folk are unhappy with their pay and conditions,why not simply resign?

    We need new, state of the art medical training facilities here, training our own medical staff until we are completely self-sufficient. Never really bought into the idea of requiring the importation of “Ghanaian eye specialists” or “Pakistani heart specialists”. They just seem to be further excuses to add to the burgeoning, superfluous masses that make up our immigration figures.

  • King Kibbutz

    Katia, how old were you when your trust in the Tories ran out?

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