Thursday, 3 January 2008

Scum of the lowest form

The government are nothing other than filth. They have revealed their pathetic offer to GPs today, and it is nothing other than an offensive insult. GPs have been subjected to a campaign of nonstop government propaganda for the last few months, and now we can see why, the government wanted to bully them into accepting this insulting offer.

Essentially if a GP practice does not open for extra hours for free, it's actually for less than free as they will have to fund all the practice's staff for the extra hours for no extra money, then the practice will lose thousands of pounds per year- the figure is around 36,000 pounds for a 6000 patient practice. If the GPC does not accept this pitiful offer then the government will enforce a massive pay cut on GPs on top of this.

I am not a GP but am able to appreciate that primary care in the UK is a pretty damn good service, and the reason for this is that GPs have been empowered over the years to run their own practices. The government, as well as being scum, are thick because they are forcing things backwards towards GPs being salaried in a way that will undo all the good work that GPs have done over the years. This letter from a senior GP sums it all up rather well, it gets across the contemptible way in which the government behaves as it tries to destroy a profession:

"If we ignore the content of the letter where Dr Buckman says that the profession are prepared to work some extra hours on top of our present 52.5 hours a week (albeit for extra funding), the GPC reaction to the government over the last year or so has been so weak that the government now believe they can get away with anything.

We have had all the propaganda in every newspaper, radio and television news programmes relaying the DoH false information on GP pay and how little GPs do to earn that pay. Then we have the government attitude to places like Creswell in Derbyshire, where the PCT have been pushed into accepting anyone rather than conventional GPs to run a vacant practice.

We have Birmingham which is going to run a scheme where the present GPs have to join the PCTs franchised scheme or lose their practices, meaning that the have to apply for their own jobs on less favourable terms. Add rural Northumberland , where practices are being told they will lose a few tens of thousands to some losing well over a hundred thousand pounds, not because their job is going to be easier, but because the PCT is short of cash.

Move on to the GMC which has become a government quango which, for some reason, we pay for the privilege of stopping us working as doctors. Against the wishes of the profession they now run kangaroo courts with a large majority of lay people and just a token medical attendance. It has changed the admissible evidence to "balance of probability" rather than "Beyond reasonable doubt" (and even before that, in Dr Southall"s case, they preferred a mother's account of a vital meeting rather than the doctors, corroborated by a social worker who was taking contemporaneous notes. How long will it be before the GMCNHS rules on saving money, meaning that if GPsGMC (the local GMC
rules, not on medical standards but on the standards of the present continue to be the patients' advocates, they will be up before the officers will see to that)

Go on to pensions where, ignoring ones like me who have unilaterally had their pensions devalued, the GPs have to pay a whole lot more of their pay to get the same or even less good pensions. Add to this no pay increase for three years despite additional work, another new tier of regulation on top of the GMC disciplinary body, and I wonder what it will take for the GPC to decide that some action needs to be taken.

We can do simple things. The GPC can use their PR Dept to produce a poster campaign for us to put up in our surgeries with a different subject every month on a rolling campaign so that our patients learn what is in store for them in the GP-light primary care of the near future. We could each of us slightly reduce our index of suspicion, do less of our "watch and see" policies and refer to secondary acre straight away. We could choose to prescribe better drugs for our patients rather than the generic muck we are exhorted to prescribe, we could withdraw all GP input into the running of PCTs and all government bodies, and WE COULD COLLECT RESIGNATIONS FROM THE NHS because in five years our jobs in the NHS will not be worth having.

Why I, a GP who will be completely retired in a few years is so angry about what is happening to my beloved profession, when those who have many years in front of them, is completely beyond me. Do they not mind the loss of professional standards, the loss of a reasonable standard of living with less and less time with their families, or do they just believe that the government will do what it will do in the end. Do they not believe the profession is worth fighting for, and do they not believe that with concerted action we could actually bring any government down?

For God's sake, please let us have a serious campaign against this government plans which will produce an NHS like
the russian health system of the 60s."
I couldn't agree more, the government is taking us towards a system that will resemble Russia in the 1960s. Hospital medicine has suffered for many years because of the government's over controlling and toxic influence, and now the government wants to wreck primary care as well. These few years will be looked back on as the classic 'I told you so' moment, when the government well and truly wrecked a perfectly good system thanks to their cowardly contempt anyone other than themselves. They are pure and utter scum.

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