This is an important and MUST READ article from the Guardian. Check it out!
When I read this article, I can’t say that I was surprised at the latest action taken by the UK’s doctors; however, this is nevertheless a serious escalation, taken doctors into previously un-chartered territory. The Ministry of Health defended the Minister, Jeremy Hunt, arguing that he had the right to demand proper quality. The latest argument is really about further cuts.
The doctors are in a dangerous position, in my view; what are the legitimate boundaries of professional judgement, politics intervention and blatant self-interest? For sure, in recent years, the UK health service has deteriorated because GPs have stopped offering out of hours services, and hospital doctors are reluctant to work nights and weekends. Also hospital consultants have enormously lucrative private practices, leveraged off their NHS contracts. Finally, doctors are still getting gold-plated, publicly funded pensions, whilst most private sector workers have been savaged by austerity and will struggle with private pension contributions.
Personally, I do not rate Jeremy Hunt, so in that sense, I agree with the doctors.
With a situation where the NHS is in meltdown, this leads me to an emerging open question:
Should the UK scrap the NHS and replace it with a best practice health service, based on benchmarks in other countries?