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.