I received a survey form from the BMA today. They estimate that if University fees are uncapped, most newly qualified doctors would face loans of £100,000 once they qualify. The idea of allowing universities to set their own fees must have come from a Government think-tank full of piscine brains.
Anyway, I did the survey. They gave results so far, which were interesting if predictable.
81% of those who replied felt Medicine should be a ‘special’ case. Well, I suppose they would, wouldn’t they? If you asked barristers whether they should be a special case, they would no doubt say the same. No surprises there.
Question 2 enquired whether the respondent felt that Medicine would become the province of the rich. 65% said ‘yes’. When I interview for a local Medical School to help select would-be Medical students I am always reminded they have a preference for local applicants particularly those with an underprivileged background. I suppose there won’t be many of those attending interviews if the cost of education becomes as unaffordable as the BMA predict.
When asked whether the respondents would still consider Medicine for a career if they were applying in 2012, 52% said no. Personally, I said ‘yes’ because my motivation when I applied to Medical School wasn’t financial; fool that I was / am.
So where does all this take us? Looks to me (and I am as apolitical as they come), we are heading for a dearth of British people who will want to apply for a university education simply to avoid the financial penalties it brings with it. Trouble is, Britain isn’t a bastion of heavy industry anymore. We need to be looking towards using the ‘Great British Intellect’ through technology, which is what we’re best at, but I suspect there won’t be anyone with the education to do it in future.
If you’ve ever telephoned your doctor’s surgery to make an appointment and been told he’s busy but you can see the nurse instead, maybe you will understand where healthcare is going to go.
Did I hear a cheer from medical accident litigators?