Saturday, August 08, 2009


Over the last few years I think I have arrived at many conclusions about the state of the NHS. The juniors become less skilled each year, the seniors become more stressed and frustrated each year, and the day-to-day challenges remain the same. The BMA remains useless, the GMC is worse than useless, and doctors are either too fatigued or too self-interested as a group to change the system.

What has evolved and changed, though, is my ability to work in this system. I have realised that making small (achievable) changes that have a direct impact on the care of my patients is extremely satisfying and acts as a buffer between the hopeless inadequacies of the system and my mental well-being.

When David Cameron is elected next year we will inevitably move towards a more privatised system. Whether this is right or wrong will undoubtedly provoke a healthy debate. Do I think healthcare should be a basic right for all UK citizens? Yes. Do I think people should have to pay a small fee to see their GP? Yes. Do I think people should have to pay a small fee to attend A+E? Yes. Should IVF be free on the NHS? No. Should the NHS have to pay for all new treatments for all patients with cancer, whatever the cost? Pass. It's clearly a complex issue. I can't wait for the new Secretary of State for Health to come up with a barrage of white papers and a multitude of changes just to stamp their individuality on the post. In the meantime, we'll all just get on with it.

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