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Tories out to wreck NHS ?

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I'm sure someone can cut and paste a quote from a Pretorian Centurion (Seutonius?); which demonstrates how, throughout history, successive bosses/administrations have felt the need to impress by changing things for the sake of it.

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Obs - the trouble with giving "the people" ultimate power is that it includes people like PJ who cannot even conduct a debate on this forum without being offensive.  In a Parliamentary democracy we vote and give power to our government. It's not a perfect system, of  course, but nobody has come up with anything better yet.  The country voted for our present government.  They still don't have ultimate power but they are the people most entitled to have power.

As to the doctors other options?  They have the same one as anyone else. If they don't like their present job they should leave it and find something better. If enough of them do it, then changes will eventually follow.  Fact of the matter is, most of them won't be able to find something better so they will stay.

I do not believe there are any circumstances in which doctors should strike, even if they make exceptions for emergency cases. It contradicts the Hippocratic oath which, I know, is out-of-date, but which has been replaced by a more modern oath which most doctors still take.

A lot of nonsense is being spoken about the government trying to wreck the NHS. The changes they are bringing are to try and make the NHS a seven day 24 hour service. It is ridiculous for junior doctors to want Saturdays to be treated differently to other days when the whole idea is that they should be just the same as other days.

Incidentally, there are plenty of other occupations which shouldn't strike as well. In fact, any occupation which involves having a sense of vocation.It shouldn't be necessary to deny them the right to strike because if they are in the job for the right reason they won't want to strike.

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Obs - the trouble with giving "the people" ultimate power is that it includes people like PJ who cannot even conduct a debate on this forum without being offensive.  

I keep hearing that the public are backing the doctors. Well I'm a member of the public and I'm with the Government. The doctors have got too big for their boots. I worked in an industry where seven day working was the norm - which meant Saturdays and Sundays were normal working days and the rate of pay was the same as for the other days. And in an emergency, if that meant actually working seven days in a week, that was too bad.  Doctors have a privileged position in society. They have wonderful career prospects even if they are not particularly well paid in their early days. The Government has made a number of compromises (which in my opinion they shouldn't have made) and still the doctors are behaving more like a crowd of layabouts than professional people. They are supposed to have a sense of vocation, but they are not showing much of it at the moment.

 

pot, kettle,black

 

If the doctors don't like it they should all quit?  What a pathetic statement.  Do you have any idea whatsoever would happen if all the doctors who are not happy, 98% of them, decided to quit?  Simply a moronic suggestion.  They saved your life for Gods sake man, and that of your wife yet you support that lying swindler Hunt instead of them because of some misguided feeling of political loyalty.  That's offensive.

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The majority of folk vote at an election without any clue as to the manifesto of the Party they are voting for; even if they did, they may agree with some of it, and disagree with the rest. So this 4 year cycle of changing from one Party to another doesn't really allow for long term planning or progress, just populist gimmicks, like the idea that you can have a 7 day NHS without increasing overall staff numbers and costs. btw. evidence is now appearing which contradicts the notion that folk dying at week-ends is directly related to current shift patterns.  The idea that certain vocations shouldn't strike, is a typical Dickensian view of the work ethic; I suppose workers should know their place, tug their forelocks and bend the knee; whilst trying to provide food and shelter for a family?  The reality is, no one takes strike action lightly; and in a fairer world, it would be uneccessary; but please don't give us the peasant mantra that folk shouldn't defend their rights within the workplace; by God, with the new slavery of zero hour contracts, we need Unions and workers with bottle like never before. :twisted:

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I think we need to thank the private medical service also for removing doctors from the NHS which should be the only dispenser of medical care in this country with a degree of transparency for all to see. The people at the so called top of society should have no more right to the best possible health care than the poorest pensioner.

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I think we need to thank the private medical service also for removing doctors from the NHS which should be the only dispenser of medical care in this country with a degree of transparency for all to see. The people at the so called top of society should have no more right to the best possible health care than the poorest pensioner.

 

I think you will find that the private health sector doesn't remove doctors from the NHS Davy, in fact it probably helps to keep them in the country in some ways.

 

I have private health care and the doctors I have seen up at the Spire are usually consultants who work in Warrington and surrounding places during the week. many private operations are carried out at weekends and no doubt the doctors get handsomely rewarded for that.... If you took the potential for additional earnings away from them, would it not be conceivable that they may leave the country altogether to find more lucrative places, not only denying the NHS, but also the private sector too?

 

If you did do away with private healthcare, where exactly would all the additional capacity within the NHS come from to treat all the people who currently go private? There would be no more money available to the NHS even if you got rid of private healthcare.

 

Just because I choose to have private medical insurance, doesn't mean I am going to hand that extra amount of MY money that I choose to spend the way I do, to the government does it? People spend money on fags and booze, I don't.... I choose to spend it on private healthcare and using the M6 Toll Motorway to avoid the traffic jams around Birmingham.... :) 

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PJ - you (probably deliberately) miss my point. I am talking about being offensive to other members of the forum - not the people who are the subject of the debate, whether they be doctors or not. I have noticed for a long time that you seem to be incapable of putting forward an argument without becoming offensive. People are entitled to different opinions and mine is clearly several light years removed from yours. But I don't wish you personal harm because of it.

Obs - I am well aware that the work ethic is in short supply these days. That is why the country is in the state it is. I still believe doctors should not strike - indeed, perhaps,they should not have the right to strike and it may well be that their recent actions will lead to them being placed in that small group of occupations who do not have the right to strike.

One thing I do agree with you,  however is that it was foolish to promise a seven-day a week health service without providing adequate extra funding for it. But that still does not mean doctors should strike.

 

Baz. I too have had treatment at our local private hospital and have been singularly unimpressed by it. But it is not the consultants that get the hefty fees - the bulk of the money goes to the hospital.

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Egbert I feel it would be just if you needed an operation and it was cancelled as there weren't enough doctors to perform it.  You are clearly an ingrate.  You suggest that they should all quit, many will do over this ridiculous attempt to fudge a 7 day service at their expense.  Thing is doctors do work weekends, nights , Christmas day etc. etc. and as such are rightfully entitled to be paid accordingly.  These people save lives, even yours, yet you want them to work all the overtime hours and nights and weekends on single rate pay?  You are deluded.  As for they shouldn't have the right to strike as they have a vocation, doesn't that just go to prove how wrong and destructive this enforced contract is that such pillars of the community with a very strong sense of vocation are forced into such action.  Hunt and the Government a wrong on this.

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One really has to wonder just what this Government is playing at, other than a stealth policy to destroy the NHS? Whilst arguing for a 7 day service, it seems far from training more staff; there are critical staff shortages, which are costing additional £millions to bandage by the expensive use of agency staff. The imposition of Uni payback arrangements deters many from entering the professions, causing Trusts to recruit overseas. Meanwhile, to make matters worse, we have current staff, suffering low moral through Gov interference, leaving to work abroad, thus meaning that we are basically funding overseas Health Services with skilled personel. Crazy.

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Staff training was one of the lowest hanging fruits when it came to the Tory cuts,  shortsighted does not begin to describe the stupidity of such policies

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http://www.bma.org.uk/support-at-work/pay-fees-allowances/pay-scales/juniors-pay-England

 

Hardly on the breadline.  And these figures don't even include the overtime rates and bonuses.

 

I'm with Egbert on this.  I don't support the Junior Doctors strike.

 

In their first years Junior Doctors are merely apprentices, and to get an idea of their level of competence look up death rates for 'Black Friday' - when annually in August with the arrival of newly qualified Junior Doctors to the hospital wards death rates soar dramatically.  Not a good time to go into hospital!

Changes to their hours of working have long been needed, their lack of skills/experience is dangerous enough to patients without these trainees being exhausted from doing 12 hour shifts.  

 

Reasonable working hours, including night shifts and weekends should be implemented for all Doctors and the incredible bonuses should be cut.

I also think the cost of their training should be repayable through lower wages in their early years of working and in the case of them leaving the NHS the full cost should be repayable before they are allowed to terminate their contracts.

 

As for them all leaving to go abroad, Junior Doctors are the most unlikely to take this option as the internment period offered by British Hospitals is one of the best in the world. Medical school graduates, like Law Graduates are lucky to get the opportunity to complete their training in the workplace due to limited places. So I think the scare stories of them all leaving the country are false. If they did, their places could easily be filled by students from abroad and Britain would probably get the pick of foreign candidates of the highest calibre.

 

Personally, I get sick of the whining from sectors of the workforce who are already on a liveable wage wanting pay increases. I don't think anyone should be getting pay increases until the minimum wage is at least £8.50 per hour. And if extra rates are to be paid for nights and weekends, it should by law apply to all workers whatever trade/ profession.

 

The NHS is being crippled via privatisation through the back door. Ridiculously paid hospital managers posts have been created. 

Perhaps the most draining but least publicised costs are the obscene rates private industry suppliers are paid for medical supplies and the obscene profits drugs companies are allowed to make.     

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Can't really follow some of the illogical assertions there Sha:   If we have Doctors becoming exhausted by doing 12hr shifts, it tells me we've not got enough Doctors.  You then casually ignore the possibility of an exodus of Doctors abroad, by suggesting they can be replaced by foreign recruits - just how stupid is that?  We've got a shortage of DOCTORS, especially indigenous ones, just in case you hadn't noticed.  We should be training more, and providing an attractive carear  option, to recruit more. This should include no requirement to repay student debt, as long as they work for the NHS.   :roll:

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Obs, I don't think there's an actual shortage of Junior Doctors for the posts available. If there appears to be a shortage in hospitals it's not because there are not enough in the country it's because the numbers employed are not sufficient.

There are reasons why there are limits on medical school recruits. One reason is that after 2 years of classroom studies the students then carry on their training in hospitals and the available places for this training are matched to medical school intake.

The restriction of medical school places has always been acceptable to the UK medical profession, which is and has always been rife with nepotism and favouritism. You only have to look at the criteria for acceptance on a medical degree course to see that it is not a matter of the best brains but the best connections. One of the criteria is 'knowledge of the medical profession as a career'- which obviously gives those who have parents who are doctors a head start and can mean that they gain higher overall points for admittance to Medical school than an 'outsider' with straight A grades. The restriction of places also ensures that those graduating are more or less guaranteed a lifetime of well paid work with not a lot of competition as they progress up the ladder.

 

As Junior doctors need the training years to fully qualify (and in the UK they are better paid during these years than in most countries) it is not they who are leaving the country. The exodus is of fully qualified doctors seeking opportunities for progression to the ludicrously paid consultancy posts.

 

The NHS has cut back on consultancy posts to save money and employs junior doctors who half the time have no idea what they are doing. At weekends it's not unusual for there to be just one cardiologist travelling back and to, serving a number of hospitals which are staffed just with juniors.

 

With all the unsociable hour allowances etc. £56k has been said to be an average wage for UK junior Doctors. If they don't want the jobs there are plenty of foreign doctors who would. German junior doctors don't get anywhere near that and probably have higher academic grades, they also speak perfect English. So why would it be 'stupid' to employ them?

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It's stupid to employ foreign labour, when we have over a million youngsters unemployed in the UK. Now it may be true, or maybe not; that our indigenous youngsters feel that gainfull employment is beneath them, and that they may prefer to be pop singers, footballers or just stay in bed in a morning. But when there are pressing staff shortages (which there are), in the NHS and associated care industries; it would appear a no brainer to recruit the indigenous unemployed into these jobs.  Add to this the investment required for training from the UK taxpayer, so to export such skills abroad is yet another insanity; which merely amounts to the UK tax-payer subsidising foreign health services. Conversely, by importing foreign labour, we're merely denuding foreign countries of there much needed skilled labour. As for German Doctors: no doubt you'll recall the case of the German (African) Doctor, who was recruited as part of the out of hours GP services, who over-prescribed morphine to a patient, killing him. You'll also be aware of the problems with language skills, encountered with many foreign medics. As for your allegations about the current Uni set up, I would view that as corrupt and a matter for cleaning up; but not an excuse for non-recruitment. Finally, why we allow the green eyed monster to appear everytime we quote pay levels; is rather bemusing, when we now have MPs on £75k plus; and if we ask which profession is more essential to our community, it certainly isn't politicians.

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I for one would like to hear the truth - from both sides of the argument. We seem to be getting told a load of statistics and sob stories but no real reason why there is a dispute. To say it's all a Tory conspiracy to "wreck the NHS" is a bit far fetched to be honest, but obviously there is a problem if there aren't enough doctors, however well they are paid, to do the job safely. In my job I'm prevented by law from working anything like the hours being quoted.

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Asp:  I suggest it is impossible for the same number of people to provide the same cover of 7 days as they do over 5 days, simple maths. It is also evident, that the NHS Trusts are critically short staffed, given the £millions being spent on Agency Staff, a practise that imo should be capped or made illegal. Now Hunt and Co, may live in a world where working week-ends, nights etc, should be accepted as normal; but the news is, that even in this new world of  Dickensian exploitation, with zero hours contracts etc; there are still some outposts remaining of Trade Unionism. Any Trade Unionist would expect premium payments for weekends or that they be absorbed and accounted for within any new shift system differentials.  Hunt has hit on this 7 day business as if it's the one and only issue requiring resolution in the NHS.  Emergency Staff were already providing 24/7 cover.  What has and is happening, is that the NHS is being used to pick up the pieces of other services such as Elderly Care, because of Gov funding cuts to Local Authorities (in the name of austerity); hence the bed blocking which has backed into A&Es. So to claim the NHS funding is being ring fenced isn't quite correct, it's being used to cover other services that have been cut, making the NHS the Jack of all trades. What we're not getting from the politicians is the stark truth that with an aging and infirm population health demands are outstripping supply, and we need a serious grown up conversation as to just what we expect from a NHS matched against just what we can afford.     :(

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But many of the agency staff are former NHS staff made redundant & brought back as agency staff on a lot more money per shift. Is there a shortage of candidates because of government policies on repaying student loans? Have the aspirations of young people levelled off at any part time jobs subsidised by benefits to the extent that there is a lack of interest in joining the medical profession? Maybe being a doctor no longer has the prestige to attract enough interest when the so called lower classes are not as far behind as they used to be in terms of standard of living.

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Depends what you call the "so called lower classes" Dave: is it those in receipt of tax credits cos they don't earn enough; or those with no cash cos they can't earn a proper wage through a zero hour contract; or those who are living out of food banks; or those homeless and living out of s/market skips?

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I think the skip & food bank livers & the zero hours "employed" are consequences of draconian government policies, the people i am talking about are the ones who have carved out a sustainable career on benefits which hopefully will last for many years.

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