Saturday, 17 September 2011

HSCB - Do the majority of 'health professionals' really give a damn?

The good Witch Doctors post 'Waiting patiently for The Academy' sent my little grey cells into overdrive.  (This doesn’t happen often!)

WDs post begins thus:

“The Guardian refers to an open letter sent by a group of doctors to all the Presidents of the Medical Royal Colleges asking them to speak for the medical establishment and demand that the Health and Social Care Bill, that has currently completed its trip through the House of Commons, is withdrawn by the government.”

WD mentions that despite much searching she could not find any comment or link leading to information re The Health and Social Care Bill on The Academy of Medical Royal Colleges home page.  (If I was a doctor worried about the HSCB I would have little faith in this academy).

You may wonder what set my little grey cells into overdrive …. I will tell you later.

The letter referred to is here and mentions that a RCGP survey of over a 1000 GPs was highly critical of the government lack of assurance to the medical profession that there would be no privatisation.  Dr Clare Gerada stated:

‘GPs don’t think this bill is going to create a patient-led NHS, they don’t think it’s going to increase autonomy, they don’t think it’s going to improve patient care and they don’t think it’s going to reduce health inequalities.’

I think the GPs who responded to this poll are certainly correct but, are the opinions of 1000 GPs truly representative of over 42000 family doctors?  I do not know how many GPs were asked to take part in the survey – but would the remainder have reached the same conclusion?

There is only one link to the HSCB on the RCGP home page and indeed it is not mentioned at all in the September edition of RCGP News.  Mmmm…. If I was a GP concerned about the HSCB I would worry about this.

The letter also mentions:

‘An online BMJ poll of over 1000 doctors showed that 93% wanted the bill to be withdrawn and a smaller online poll by GP magazine showed that 94% thought the bill should be scrapped. The Government’s former Director for heart disease and stroke, Sir Roger Boyle, also spoke out against the bill. He pulled no punches when he stated that: 'It is horrific that the NHS's future is threatened'

Do you think it fair to suggest that the majority of those who responded to the Yes/No/Unsure poll would be those who have genuine concerns re the HSCB?  What do the rest think?

What set my little grey cells into overdrive?  It was the combination of the Witch Doctors post and this article I had read previously in Pulse.  The article mentions the possibly of a ballot on industrial action over pension reforms and the governments intention of bringing forward its plans to increase the retirement age to 67.

The BMA is calling in lawyers to give advice on industrial actions. Dr Andrew Dearden, BMA pensions chair describing the new pension plans a ‘straightforward tax on healthworkers.’

Dr Hamish Meldrum, union chief and council chair of the BMA has set up a dedicated Pensions Campaign Group and is discussing legal issues and industrial action etc.

Why did this article and the Witch Doctors post send my little grey cells into overdrive?

It appears to my little grey cells that the medical profession is really worked up about future pension changes and there is much anger and the possibility of industrial action.

If the majority of the medical profession were really concerned regarding the ramifications of HSCB would they not have become angry and worked up about this too?  Would they not have threatened industrial action?

Would the fact that they have not, strongly suggest that the good doctors who blog are indeed (and unfortunately) members of a minority of the medical profession who oppose the bill, the remainder being pro the bill or at the very least indifferent to it?

Dave might have been correct when he stated the health professionals back the bill for perhaps in the most part they do?

I hope I’m bloody wrong!

What say you?

Anna :o]

PS Nurses are no better either.


Frances Garrood said...

I think a lot of the problem may be laziness. If things aren't directly affecting you, then you do nothing about it. Take the European directive on doctors' working hours. Does anyone really care that doctors are qualifying without sufficient experience? Not reqally. Until, that is, they find their appendix being removed by a medical student with a knife and fork. And then it's too late.

I've spent nearly all my working life in the Health Service (beginning in the days when nurses actually looked after patients), and what's happening to it breaks my heart.

Frances Garrood said...

PS For "regally" read "really"! Apologies.

blackdog said...

Anna, you can always be sure of Doctors' fury if their pensions' and indeed any other pecuniary adavantage they have over the rest of us poor mortals, is threatened. Since the NHS was born it has always been so. They hold a unique position in society, in that they are 'self employed' in the main, but still receive funding from the state for their pension. What other section of the community has such benifecence bestowed upon them by the taxpayer?

With few exceptions I cannot think of any other such greedy self serving pariahs, unless of course I include Politicians or the Police. Patients, well they continue to be the pawns, in the NHS; paying for it, but with no appreciable input or even opportunity to influence outcomes, in the surgery, hospital or Parliament.

GrumpyRN said...

"PS Nurses are no better either"

No better than doctors? Politicians? General public? What.......?

HyperCRYPTICal said...

Thanks for your comments folks.

Frances ~ I think your observation is correct in that until it [HSCB] affects you directly - you are ambivolent towards it. Unfortunately the 'wait and see' approach is no good - when the deed is done it will be unchangeble.

blackdog ~ I don't view docs in such a dark light - just concerned that the same passions re pensions are not aroused re the HSCB.

GrumpyRN ~ as the post was re the medical profession I think you can be safe in presuming that "PS Nurses are no better either" related to docs.

Anna :o]