Monday, 23 April 2007

The mass exodus begins

Modernising Medical Careers is being debated in the House of Commons tomorrow, unfortunately any potential action on this front has come too late for some. There is already a considerable human cost as a result of the government's shambolic reforms of medical training and the NHS is general. The following letter was sent from one junior doctor to another in the last few days, I believe it gets across the devastating human impact of the reforms, the low morale in the NHS and the immense frustration present universally in doctors across the country:

"Am quiting medicine

Have had enough of being treated like crap, of watching mediocrity being advanced as fast (if not faster!) than excellence. Of having no life whatsoever, of working all the time, being tired all the time, and looking after so few genuinely sick people.

Modern Britain seems to be populated by people who take no personal responsibility for anything they do, whether health or otherwise, its always somebody's fault not their own. The NHS stumbles from one crisis to the next treating its staff like consumable items. Its constantly fudging avoiding the big issue of which everyone is aware. We cannot, as a country, afford a health service that is free to all at the point of access, after all not one single other country has this system...why is that do we think? Do we know something that they all don't? Is the economics of Britain something special?
Why have we given interest rate control to the Bank of England, recognising that politicians are ill-suited to make important strategic desicions yet leave health in their hands. The net result being health matters are driven on a four year election cycle with the fundamental motivating factor being "visible" tabloid results. Health, like education and economics, requires 30 year planning. I simply state childhood obesity as a case in point.
The best outcome of my career as it stands is a minimum of 6 years running around at the bottom of the heap, being moved form pillar to post within a vast region, plugging gaps as they occur, followed by a probable "junior" consultant post (aka the old SR) resident on-call. Even as a "senior" consultant you are likely to be working nights and weekends, on call or resident, till you retire. At 70. Since they can't afford the pension scheme. Check the studies, the later you retire the earlier you die.
Whether you believe in an eternal life or not no one can be sure, best make best use of the life you have now, after all potentially you're a long time dead.

Here endeth the rant. Here endeth my time in medicine.

And no i don't know what the feck I'm going to do either, but i know this, I'll be happier because I'll get my life back."

Enough said I feel, I just wonder how many junior doctors will leave the country or the profession in the weeks ahead. Unfortunately it will be the NHS and the patients who will suffer as a result, while the corrupt politicians who orchestrated this mess will be enjoying an early retirement with a nice juicy pension courtesy of the tax payer.

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