The Telegraph reveals that as a deadline looms for changes to doctors’ contracts, there is a stark differences in levels of NHS consultant cover depending when you fall ill. As a result of new evidence following a Freedom of Information enquiry, the Telegraph’s shocking article is a must-read.
Whilst the problem has been known for some time, the scale of the weekend shortfall is truly alarming.
If you read the article carefully, you will see that this staggering state of affairs is all about consultants and their restrictive contracts. Clearly too many consultants are standing back and saying, ‘It’s the system, it’s not me’. In reality, consultants are exploiting their monopolistic position to their own advantage.
Once again, I think this story highlights the need for more competition in UK public healthcare, at every level. The NHS is riddled with a cancer of protective practices that support stakeholder groups at the cost of world class medical care. For further evidence, look at the UK’s performance compared to international benchmarking statistics.
Why should professionals, like doctors and teachers, working for the UK public sector, have an easier life, based on restrictive practices, than professionals working in the private sector who face global competition?