Hunt, the Health Minister is now speaking out and proclaiming from the rooftops that GP’s should now shoulder the burden of out-of-hours patient care. Unusually, he’s talking a little sense in amongst the rhetoric and garbage we usually hear from politicians.
In 2004, the Labour government in a bid to ruin doctors’status forced an hours-based contract on GPs and hospital consultants. We didn’t like it because we knew it made us into clocking in and clocking out ‘health-care workers’. That was what they wanted. They were sick of the fact that polls showed that of all professional people the public regard(ed) doctors as themost trustworthy and politicians the least. Part of that downgrading of GP’s was to take them out of the original NHS concept of 24/7 care for theirpatients.
The result was fragmentation because GPs could now clock off at 5 or 6 pm. At night, the patients were no longer their responsibility and a relief service would take over at night. Freed from night-time working, less and less GPs wished to cover rotas and foreign, poorly skilled doctors would do night duties – many of them very foreign, many without good language skills. They sent everything into A&E. A&E became over worked and because there were no consultants in the hospital at night, most patients were admitted whether they needed to be or not – it would seem safer to an inexperienced junior doctor who doesn’t know the patient, to admit than to discharge a patient. The GP ‘family’ doctor would probably have kept many of the patients at home because they often knew the whole story, but of course, there aren’t any. The result – hospitals full with medical patients on surgical wards – no bed for the surgical patients and so less revenue coming in to the hospital, whichwould have been earned by the patients getting their operations.
It has become a disaster. The problem now is how can we getback the ‘Family Doctor’ who Labour stupidly decided to get rid of? Labour wanted a Russian type of communist NHS where doctors are a small cog in a big administrative machine and of equal status with the cleaners. They failed and damaged a really good health service in doing so. Is there an answer? Yes, but itwill be expensive. You won’t get GP’s back into the fold unless you pay them and you can’t afford to pay them properly.
What do I really think? I’m afraid I believe you get whatyou deserve – you voted Labour three elections running – they wrecked the economy, they wrecked education and they wrecked the NHS. It’s your own fault so don’t come whining to the medical profession saying it’s their fault. It can be reversed, but it will be painful and you’ll need to get back some good will from the medical profession – wish you luck with that one Hunt the ****.
NB This is my personal view as a voter - not my view as a doctor!