Making doctors stay….. in a neglected NHS. Letters in the Telegraph. Altruism destroyed early..

On Saturday the Junior Doctors meet. Their decision on whether or not to strike is important to all of us: Junior doctors threaten strike over new contracts – The BMA’s junior doctors committee will meet on Saturday to discuss its plans to attempt to block a deal (Laura Donelly in The Telegraph 18th September 2015). What a shame to have destroyed their altruism so early in their careers. Normally it takes 5 or 10 years, but the government plan to cut their wages makes it instantaneous. Their absence will certainly be felt.

Letters in The Telegraph 24th September 2015:

We can’t make doctors stay in a neglected NHS

SIR – Tom Tugendhat, the Conservative MP, suggests that junior doctors should spend a period of time working for the NHS before they are allowed to move abroad, given the high cost of their training.

It is wrong to hold our graduates captive in a chronically underfunded system when nearly 40 per cent of our medical workforce has qualified overseas. We can’t criticise those who emigrate while we rely on immigration for skilled workers, which suppresses wages.

We must accept that a truly world-class health system will cost more than we are currently willing to pay.

Duncan Scorgie
Edinburgh

SIR – Tom Tugendhat compares the idea of making doctors provide return of service to the NHS to the requirement for Army doctors to serve for six years after qualifying. Members of the Armed Forces make up a significant proportion of the medical staff in hospitals across the country and therefore act as an easy comparator.

The Navy’s current medical student cadetship programme pays back tuition fees (£9,000 a year) and purports to provide further benefits of up to £15,379 a year, including a salary at medical school.

The salary of a newly qualified Navy doctor is a competitive £40,728, compared with £22,636 in the NHS. I have worked alongside Navy doctors and, although hard-working, they do an identical job to NHS doctors.

Moreover, military staff have subsidised accommodation on base and, if this is unavailable, are given an allowance to enable the renting of alternative accommodation.

Therefore, before Mr Tugendhat compares the NHS with the military, perhaps he should consider why so many doctors wish to leave the NHS. A medical degree should not be turned into a form of bonded labour.

Daniel Leslie
Bristol

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This entry was posted in A Personal View, Stories in the Media on by .

About Roger Burns - retired GP

I am a retired GP and medical educator. I have supported patient participation throughout my career, and my practice, St Thomas; Surgery, has had a longstanding and active Patient Participation Group (PPG). I support the idea of Community Health Councils, although I feel they should be funded at arms length from government. I have taught GP trainees for 30 years, and been a Programme Director for GP training in Pembrokeshire 20 years. I served on the Pembrokeshire LHG and LHB for a total of 10 years. I completed an MBA in 1996, and I along with most others, never had an exit interview from any job in the NHS! I completed an MBA in 1996, and was a runner up for the Adam Smith prize for economy and efficiency in government in that year. This was owing to a suggestion (St Thomas' Mutual) that practices had incentives for saving by being allowed to buy rationed out services in the following year.

One thought on “Making doctors stay….. in a neglected NHS. Letters in the Telegraph. Altruism destroyed early..

  1. Pingback: GP Occupational Health – too little too late. Lack of trust may ensure the service is ignored.. Say goodbye to continuity of care… | NHS reality. An NHS soapbox. Speakers' corner for the NHS.

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