Saturday, 2 February 2008

BMA and Remedy session with the BMJ

An interesting interview with Ram Moorthy of the BMA and Matt Jameson-Evans of Remedy UK can be heard here on the BMJ website. There was nothing overtly wrong with anything Ram Moorthy said, however Matt Jameson-Evans just seemed a little more convincing with his answers.

Initially Matt Jameson-Evans purposefully stated that Remedy would have made a proper stand against MMC and MTAS if they had existed earlier, in reponse to this Ram Moorthy claimed that the JDC had made a stand, a slightly twisted interpretation of events in anyone's opinion. The lack of consultation was highlighted, as was the slightly malignant influence of educationalists upon the MMC process. The need for flexibility was also emphasised, something I feel the majority of doctors would agree with very strongly.

Tooke deserves a new paragraph, Tooke must be kept in the headlines and implemented in full, the government must not be allowed to weasle out of this: Remedy were committed to this, the BMA not quite as strongly so. NHS:MEE was seen as being vital by the BMA and Remedy. The controversial subject of the sub consultant grade was brought up, as was the government's dishonest failure to live up to promises of expanding the consultant grade.

Whatever happened to the consultant led service? We're currently heading towards a noctor led service. The short termist strategy of the government was discussed regarding poor workforce planning, while the looming disaster of an expanding bulge of post-CCT doctors who may well not have jobs to move into upon completion of their training was also discussed; I have to say that Ram Moorthy was let off the hook as the debate was moved on, the post CCT problem must not be forgotten.

Matt Jameson-Evans was far more voiciferously against the evils of EWTD and had the guts to mention how training was being wrecked by the short termist idiocy of using certain HCPs instead of junior doctors. Ram Moorthy was also excellent on the issue of HCPs and how ineffective they are cost wise. Jameson-Evans said the biggest issue facing them was 'deprofessionalisation' and I have to agree with him on this, this must be at the centre of the battle ground.

Then the issue of representation was touched upon. Matt Jameson-Evans explained how Remedy had come to exist, precisely because the BMA's structure did not allow for quick meaningful action. Ram Moorthy talke of the complimentary nature of Remedy and the BMA, and again reiterated how the government's desire to morph all HCPs into one block would not be good for the standard of care or patients.

The chat was generally good, the goal of high quality patient care and the fight for professionalism in medicine were high on the agendas of both organisations. It was clear to me at the end of this that Remedy have become key, as they have given the politicians something to fear, and they will keep the BMA on their toes, thus making the BMA more effective. Personally I hope that Remedy never becomes like the BMA, as when the committees and the illusion of democracy becomes more important than getting things done, then institutional impotence results. For Tooke to be implemented in full, we must fight the bastards to the death, complacency could be our undoing.

1 comment:

Sam said...

It was encouraging to hear the BMA is seeing sense at last and finally acknowleding how important as well as popular the role of Remedy is. Ram Moorthy seems to be the kind of man who can work well with remedy IMO despite him saying that the BMA represents 'all' doctors and has to consider all opinions before making a response. He implied therefore that Remedy takes a 'knee jerk reaction' but Matt replied to that by saying that Remedy can take higher risk because it is a small organisation and does not have much to lose.

I hope Remedy will never lose its 'knee jerk reaction' because that has achieved so much in so little time.

What has also not been said is that Remedy respresents the juniors who suffered at the hands of the injustice of MTAS while the BMA represents all doctors, including those who benefited from MTAS whether rightfully or wrongly.

On the whole, it is good that the BMA realises now that Remedy is here to stay and that, in reality, both organisations compliment each other and work towards achieving roughly the same goals.

Good to see some unity :-)