Monday, 18 June 2012

Are Doctors Superior To Other Workers?

On Thursday doctors who are members of the BMA intend to strike against reforms to their pay and pensions.  I've yet to meet anyone who agrees with their action and I've met a few who are more than angered by it as appointments have been postponed.

Two acquaintances have had communications saying their appointments would be delayed but no future dates were supplied. One, who has arranged a trip to New Zealand in the early autumn, telephoned the hospital to ask if a date could be offered but was told they were completely 'snowed under' and it would take some weeks before dates and times could be reorganised.

Another is being left to worry for longer.  When anyone has a health problem which is referred to a specialist, they are concerned.  This acquaintance has been told that she will possibly require surgery and possibly the sooner the better, but her appointment for Thursday has been postponed and no future date offered as yet.  She will continue her wait in a state of anxiety and that can't be good for anyone's health.

The BMA in Scotland blame the health boards which, they say, were informed of the strike action months ago.

Under the pension plans, which at present only apply to England and Wales but are likely to be introduced in Scotland, the age at which doctors retire would be raised from 65 to 68 by 2015.  Their pension contributions will increase by up to 14.5% which they say is twice as much as other public sector staff.

But, GPs aren't public sector staff.  They are self-employed, yet BMA members will refuse to see non-urgent patients on Thursday - although they will be 'in their usual workplaces and patient safety remains their top priority'. Who will define 'non-urgent'?  Receptionists?

The English Health Secretary Andrew Lansley has written to the BMA suggesting GPs work next Saturday to clear the backlog from the strike action.  Deluded man.  The BMA responded:

"Doctors know the industrial action they take cannot be the same industrial action taken by any other work force. This is why doctors will be in their usual workplaces and patient safety remains their top priority." source

They are taking the same industrial action as other workforces.  Industrial action involves causing the most disruption possible and that's exactly what they will do on Thursday.

There is one work force which refuses to hold the country to ransom by striking and that's our Armed Forces.  They may have a few deluded senior officers who make feeble attempts at mimicking union leaders, but overall the personnel realise service to the people of this country is an honour for which the receive an average salary.  Thousands are being sacked and will lose a percentage of the little pension they may receive, yet none has downed arms in protest.

So on Thursday, let's be grateful we have one public service which continues to operate through thick and thin.  That's more than can be said for our doctors who are certainly not superior to any other workers.


JRB said...

I am of a generation that held “the doctor” in some degree of esteem.

Throughout my professional career and now as a patient, with a long term condition, I came across little to contradict that opinion.

That was till now.

In my eyes and in the eyes of the majority of the public, our esteemed doctors have not just shot themselves in the foot – they have blown their bloody leg off.

Their lust for exorbitant levels of filthy lucre, reduces them to mere tradesmen, selling their skills for the highest reward. They now join the serried ranks of plumbers and motor-mechanics ( apologies to plumbers and motor-mechanics).
One has to ask - is the doctors actions based on ‘need’ or based on ‘greed’.

Yes the Government has been its normal money grabbing selves with its assault on their pensions. Sorry medics, but welcome to the ‘real’ world, for that is how it is for many of us.

As for attending to ‘urgent’ cases, this is but a sop to their guilty Hippocratic conscience.

Crinkly & Ragged Arsed Philosophers said...

Not too bothered by the Doctors, but I would get excited if the politicians went on an indefinite strike.

That would get my 100% support -provided they combined it with a vow of silence, a hunger strike and a vigil while incarcerated in the Tower of London.

Meanwhile we would have a national conversation where all the issues have to be settled and agreed by at least 80% of the population before the terms and conditions are offered for acceptance by the strikers and they're allowed to call the strike off.

Of course in the meantime it may prove the country is better off and better run without them. But for the purpose of blame and liability we may throw a scrap to the dogma of privatisation and appoint Serco to run the UK and thereby save billions on graft, cronyism and nepotism.

And we would have to allow for the fact the banks would fall due to the fact they would no longer have the props and cushions of Westminster to lean on.

subrosa said...

JRB, I lost the respect our generation usually gives to the medical profession a few years ago. Now I consider they're no different to you or me. There are good and bad and lots of average.

But to strike is a few steps too far for me.

subrosa said...

If that happened I would celebrate until I dropped Crinkly, but of course we're dreaming.

Robert Blake said...

Doctors are are not allowed to strike about that

They ARE allowed to strike about their pensions

RMcGeddon said...

I must admit I don't begrudge doctors getting a good deal. At least they do something useful. I think we're lucky with our health service in Scotland. It still feels weird getting handed a prescription and just walking out with no payment.
If I could tweak things slightly I'd allow adults to sign a waiver to allow us to self medicate for routine illnesses after doing some research. Just for basic ailments that require anti biotics or gastric problems etc.
This would free up surgeries for more important cases and cut the waiting times.

subrosa said...

Robert, forgive me but I'm a little confused.

What do you mean by 'that'?

subrosa said...

I don't begrudge anyone a good deal RM and as someone said today the doctors are only trying to keep up with the politicians and their pension system.

That was the first person in favour of the strike.

I agree about free prescriptions RM although I do think that the over 65s or 70s ought to have them. It seems just about all my friends are on some kind of long term medication which would cost them dearly. Thankfully I haven't joined them - yet. That's more from being thrawn and suspicious than anything else. :)

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