Forget NHS privatisation — how can you have a health service if you put people off being doctors (in the UK)?
Regardless of your politics, your views on its efficiency, its funding and so on, is there anyone in this country who does not agree with the idea that free medical services are a great idea, as well as a source of national pride?
So if we feel that way, then why are we letting the Department of Health betray, and scare away, the people who deliver it — specifically the junior doctors at the moment, although I suspect all NHS professions deserve consideration?
Think about this selfishly for a moment — do you want to be treated by that exhausted, underpaid, demoralised junior doctor in their 72nd hour that week?
Or think about it strategically (and politically) then… As it becomes less and less appealing to become a doctor, what will we do in the future? It takes intelligent people, committing to long and expensive educations, to become a doctor — they would all make more money, in less time, with better work-life balance, if they became lawyers or bankers or something like that. Given the UK’s growing population (~400,000 per year with increasing ageing population issues), we’ll need more doctors — is it really a good idea to make the career seem less appealing?
I don’t get it. More needs to be done to help the current doctors, nurses and their peers but for now, if you really support the NHS, I’d suggest these two actions:
1. March with the Junior Doctors in London (it’s a start): https://www.facebook.com/events/1695649857321169/
2. If you can’t march, sign the petition: https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/108782