Monday, 16 February 2015

Why do Doctors want to kill the UK?

I have never been a big fan of the medical profession, I remember way back at University being concerned that the medical students I knew were getting by with pass rates of about 60% - so not knowing a good 40% of what they needed too! How was theat going to work out in the future....

More relevantly perhaps is that in recent years the Doctors of the UK have started to make plays which affect and potentially destabilise the whole country.

The first battle was around pay and working conditions. The EU had implemented the working time directive and this made the lives of junior doctors impossible - they had been asked to work crazy 90 hour plus weeks. Also Labour wanted to implement some reforms of the NHS which the BMA was against.

So Labour happily drew up new contracts, which managed to have both shorter hours and extensive 'overtime' for GP's. Doctors were now earning 20% more for doing the same of less work. This at a time when the UK was just beginning to spend more on the NHS but was also starting to run a deficit during the high point of the economic boom.

The second major battle has been around immigration. Not just of actual doctors, which is a separate topic, but of treating immigrants. Doctors have long claimed under the spurious 'hippocratic oath', that they be allowed to treat anyone who appears before them (less than 50% of British Medical Students 'take' this oath anyway). As immigration soared after 1997, so the costs of treating health tourists did too. Doctors want nothing to do with controlling this, but at the same time demanded more money and are always keen to stick the knife into 'hospital administrators.' This classic tactic plays well with Labour who always rant on about how many more nurses and doctors they can have. However, for everyone else, what does it matter if we have more supply of doctors and nurses (and indeed treatments and facilities) if demand grows exponentially.

Then finally today, another example raises its head. David Cameron and the Government are keen to reduce benefits of those who are able to help themselves but choose not to. So targeting Obese people and drug addicts who are in receipt of long-term benefits for their condition. This is not an article about the rights and wrongs of the policy. Here is to show Tory MP Dr. Sarah Wollaston is against this policy as it is not for Doctor's to implement Government policy and not for them to withdraw or prescribe treatments to patients without their consent.

To me this position is untenable, the Government pays the salaries of the public sector and the Government has to balance the books and make hard choices - it is why all Governments are always unpopular after all.

The above three cases show that Doctors consider themselves above the rule of Government despite working for it. The Health budget is 15%+ of Government spending and increasing out of control. Yet it is not for the Doctors to do anything at all to help, except to say 'its not my problem.' For the finances and long-term stability of the UK this is a huge imposition and not one that anyone can do anything about via the ballot box - it is a calissic case of producer caputre.

The Doctors in many areas are hold the future of the Country literally in their hands. This is a huge problem for the Country as they have the power of life and death and are vested with such moral authority - it is a great argument for privatising more of the NHS so as to remove the leaden hand of the Doctors from Government policy.

22 comments:

BE said...

The NHS is extraordinarily expensive. According to my HMRC statement, my two trips to the doctor last year cost me about £2500.

The NHS is extraordinarily cheap. I recall a stat (I can't quote it exactly) that suggested that the whole NHS (including the cost of treating all of these millions of immigrants who book flights to the UK just to get free healthcare) costs less as a proportion of GDP than America's Medicare which covers about 20% of the population. The UK spends a lot less as a proportion of GDP on healthcare than France does.

Anonymous said...

BE, the other interpretation of your last sentenec is that doctors in other countries are even moore overpaid than un the UK.

The usual political attempt to close down debate on the NHS is to pretend that it's a binary choice: either the happpy, shambolic, caring, sharing NHS (but don't mention mid-Staffs) or the cold, callous US system where it's cash up-front or you won't be treated.

Having experienced a few health systems overseas, I think the biggest problem in the UK is our adherence to the wretched mantra "free at the point of delivery". You cannot manage, let alone control, demand for a system that in effect hands out free money.

dearieme said...

The doctors refusal to take part in charging those patients who are not qualified to use the NHS is a scandal. They'd change their minds if their wonderful pay and pensions were to be docked for their inactivity. Call it 70% pay plus 30% bonus for doing their effing duty. No duty, no bonus. If they want to piss off to private practice, let 'em.

They don't seem to mind paperwork when it comes to arranging their own twenty-four hour retirements, do they?

Anonymous said...

This is somewhat of a recent problem, so whether or not you are for or against more privatisation, not sure why it is the answer to a problem that did not exist beforehand under the same system.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous at 12.05.

Exactly.

The standard NHS debate is UK NHS or US Private system. That's it. Apparently there are no other health systems in the world.

It's imbecilic. Akin to saying you can have either have a 1970's Austin Allegro, or a Trabant. All the while managing to ignore the existence of Volkswagons.

It's the commonest form of modern debating tactic. Binary choices. And by setting the two choices the MSM controls the debate by portraying one side as being 'extreme'.

EU. All or nothing. Europhile or xenophobe. Nothing in-between.
Climate Change. We're all going to die or evil capitalist denier.
Immigration. Open all the doors or foreigners are evil and scary.

Bill Quango MP said...

A GP friend of mine says she never checks malingerers either. If someone says they want signing off for bad back, depression, unwell, she just signs them off for a week.

"They whine on and on if you don't. And will only come back next week if I don't.."

Something I'd long suspected. A sick note means you've been to the doctor and moaned at them for 5 minutes.

An employer, faced with a sick note in a tribunal, has no defence. A person signed off for 8 weeks with 'stress' is immune from any action. Because, as it should be, that person has been diagnosed, by a professional, as being sick.
So they remain in place, at work, although they often never work.

I'm sure in many more cases than there should be, its just a doc clearing the surgery. "Here..here's a sickie.. now go away and bother someone else."

Nick Drew said...

Doctors just seeking to maximise £££, (like MPs, unions, bankers, windfarm-wallahs, you, me, ...)

when you see poll results like this, you'd have to say they have plenty of scope!

["Tories in 4% lead"
but ...
"What is single most important issue?
- NHS 31%
- Jobs/prices/wages 17%
- Immigration 15%
- Education 12%
- Deficit 7%
- Europe 4% (say what, UKIP?)
and so on down

Demetrius said...

Long ago I played rugger against the hospital teams and also for one club which sported several Irish doctors. They were great chaps to drink and party with but on the whole were not men I would want to see in charge of the accounts etc.

CityUnslicker said...

So I wrote tis thinking it would be controversial and everyone bloody agrees!

BQ - I thought about adding in the whole sicknote thing too but that comes under the same banner as the immigrants - not my problem, guv - as the phase used to be.

NHS bill over £100 billion, someones bloody problem.....

Bill Quango MP said...

CU: This GP actually uses that phrase - "Its not my problem if they say they are sick, and they are not."

I always think - "yes it bloody well is! Its totally your problem. Sorry if this person is a serial moaner.But you need to tell them there is nothing wrong. Not send them to bed for a week!"

Shhhesshh..

If I had a pound...

Anonymous said...

BQ, are you saying we could save the NHS billions, reduce unemployment and improve doctor efficiency by employing NHS bouncers?

Suffragent said...

Anon 12.05 and Anon 1.41 are you the same person? Schizophrenia I claim my 5 pounds (cheaper diagnosis than the NHS). 100% agree with what you say. Its either we let young girls have free plastic surgery or its Zombie Apocalypse.

BQ ………….you would be a pound richer than me.

Bouncers at the NHS?
For: they are usually very efficient at distributing drugs.
Against: they would only let the pretty girls in.

In 2004 they did have a system where you had to go through a nurse to get to a doctor. My girlfriend had a serious chest infection, which among other things, made her cough violently until she was sick. She was sick for 8 weeks and constantly refused any access to a doctor (the first two times by a telephone diagnosis) by this power mad notman. We went to Sweden and a doctor there gave her a course of antibiotics, which cleared it in four days. (Which was unfortunate because her voice came back :-)

dearieme said...

The other stupid thing about posing the debate as NHS vs the Americans is that nobody in his right mind would prefer the latter.

Electro-Kevin said...

Nick - That poll. Add 4% to 15% ... go Ukip !

With the loss of the mines and heavy engineering the unions had to move on to new fields.

The Labour Party has various wings now:

Propaganda Wing - BBC

Religious Wing - CofE

Enforcement Wing - Police (supported by Mr Big in the prison shower as a deterent for people who refuse to pay the propaganda wing's tax or adhere to political correctness)

and...

The Industrial Wing - The NHS.


Believe it or not the Transport Wing (outside of LUL) has been neutralised by privatisation and the recruitment of non-radicals from the police, armed forces, banking, teaching...

Sebastian Weetabix said...

In any organisation with a preponderance of women in management and supervisory positions, with only very rare exceptions, professional standards drop, because women like to work by consensus and avoid confrontation. Other than moaning behind someone's back, they do not address under-performance, and focus on creating a cosy stable atmosphere. My other half worked in the civil service for many years and frequently observed that the only thing that would provoke female managers into action was someone shitting in the nest over childcare arrangements or making a complaint public; dealing with actual incompetence came a long way down anyone's list. On one occasion she was asked to cancel a holiday and remain in the office because the only other member of staff who was going to be in that day was widely considered to be a dangerous incompetent who could not be left alone, and the idea of sacking the useless bitch never crossed the female boss's mind. (My missus is made of strong stuff, so promptly informed the line manager that her holiday was already approved and signed off, and if she thought the useless woman was useless, then she should address the issue and not attempt to cover for it. Naturally she then got a shitty confidential report for being "occasionally obstructive and unhelpful". That's how they roll, you know.). Conversely there is the example of the senior nurses in mid-staffs threatening junior members of staff who exposed their falsification of records to meet targets... shitting in the nest, see.

Ladies an Gennlemen, I give you the NHS in general. Largely staffed by incompetents devoid of empathy, stuffing themselves with toast while patients die in the corridors. Envy of the world.

The whole thing needs what the narrow gauge railways serving the western front got in 1916. They were such a shambles that "in usual Army fashion a peppery Scot was appointed. He took one look, didn't like what he beheld, so sacked everyone and started again. Within a week it was running like a sewing machine." That's the trouble with you English people. You're all too fucking nice. You put up with things that normal people in the rest of the world don't put up with. It'll be the death of you all in the end, you know.

Nick Drew said...

How true, SW, how true

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David Bradley said...

This has been a long standing issue with NHS whether to privatise or not and how this would affect the doctors and the patients. The doctors appraisal by GMC has also been criticised a lot although I think it’s been a good step.

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