Wednesday, 26 March 2008

The utopian nightmare of MTAS 2008

I must apologise for taking my eye off the ball of late, the disaster that is going to be MTAS 2008 deserves to be highlighted more vigorously that I have done so far. Part of the problem this year has been a general apathy that has developed following the government's persistent abuse of the medical profession, the current consequent silence is not helping the medical trainees who face the grim prospect of career termination.

Sam is right, this silence needs to be broken; Remedy are doing their best but the money is drying up, and it is becoming harder and harder to motivate an increasingly apathetic cohort of doctors. Doctors need to unite, those who have done well from the MTAS and MMC debacles need to get behind those who have been shafted, we all need to work together for the long term good of the profession. Anyone who thinks that they need not act because they themselves are doing OK should be ashamed of their deeply selfish attitude, it is precisely this kind of attitude that has got us in this mess in the first place. Bruno Ribiero has been one man that has spoken out as regards the devastating impact of MMC's implementation, he should not be an exception to the rule.

If you believe the DoH then its the best year ever for patients as they will benefit from the intense competition for jobs. What utter rot. The long term impact of driving thousands of highly motivated and talented doctors from the NHS will be devastating for patients. Ironically this is happening while the government continues to empower the ignorant and under trained to do the jobs that should only be done by proper doctors.

The battle must be fought on several fronts. Firstly we need more training posts to prevent an unprecedented loss of talent from the NHS. Secondly we need to fight to maintain high standards of medical training, we must take on the competency based fundamentalism that is threatening to destroy training, and we must fight to preserve the royal college exams. Thirdly we must come up with a practical solution to the loss in training hours that is being forced upon us by the EWTD, the Barbados plan by Remedy is a preliminary step in the right direction. Fourthly we must oppose the sub consultant grade and fight for enough decent jobs for doctors who have completed their specialist training. There is no time for apathy or inaction, it is time to unite against the common enemy, as if we don't then we will all be in trouble in a few years time, even if we are not already.


Anonymous said...

I completely agree, Garth, but how do we motivate people? The mass lobby on March 18th was poorly attended, both by medics and others. I'm a mum and I will do whatever it takes but, the way things are at the moment, Johnson must be rubbing his hands in glee. He's beaten the GPs into submission and the junior doctors are all but silent. I have no doubt he is assigning most of the Tooke report to the bin but what are we going to do about it. Sam asks where is Fidelio. Does anyone know the answer to that question?


David L. Cox said...

To a simple observer, it is amazing that the profession generally is as silent as it is over the treatment of junior doctors.

Where is the response to the massive reduction in income for F1 doctors next year for example?

The drawn out agonies associated with MMC and all that, soon to take a further worsening turn in 2008/9 round should be opposed by all; the massive costs to the taxpayer seem to be ignored by both government and opposition alike.

Further pressure for the acceptance of the Tooke Report, lock, stock and barrel is needed now!

Rachel Joyce said...

Completey agree doctors have been completely demoralised over the years and this is just like the final nail.

No wonder everyone just wants to do the job and get home. The idea of a consultant staying late unpaid out of duty rather than cut the operating list are dying because of appalling and systematic mistreatment. Afterall, we doctors are not politically correct.

Garth Marenghi said...

I wish I had the answers, I really do.

Anonymous said...

Well, when I commenced our website in the dark ages of the internet, no one was motivated about junior doctor's rights. Infact, it was felt that the website was renegade. Nearly 7 years lady, the juniors still are not motivated. My view is this, if they aren't motivated to backup Remedy which lets face it is the best chance of reform they have - then they all deserve the system they work in and they shouldn't moan about it.

More doctors in India strike and fight for their rights than England. Maybe thats why we have a system that abuses its juniors - because the juniors of the past have allowed it.

My advice - if Remedy isn't going to get the backup - to turn their website into an information stop resource and hang up their campaigning shoes. Otherwise, they will burn out and become disenchanted.


Dr Rita Pal