Imagine being a politician who doesn’t really care about doctors. She/he thinks they are overpaid anyway. Their time horizon is the next election, and they know nothing they say or do will influence the supply side in that time period. What they care about is their next term, and the vote in their locality. Be nice to everyone, and you usually keep your seat.. But make a difference to the national honesty on health, and you will lose it. Overworking is destroying General Practice, the profession and the doctor patient relationship. Places at Medical School need to be de-rationed. Where 2 out of 11 gain a place today, 10 out of 11 are capable and should be trained. If some go abroad or drop out so be it…
Rachel Clark in the Mirror reports 8th August 2017: Doctors are here to save our lives, not take their own – I don’t know a single junior doctor who hasn’t at times felt utter despair at the burden of trying to keep patients safe in today’s overstretched and understaffed NHS
LAST week yet another junior doctor appeared to have taken his own life.
Colleagues found the man, in his 30s, dead at Musgrove Park Hospital where he worked in Taunton, Somerset.
While we know no details as yet of the circumstances of his death, we do know at least another three junior doctors have killed themselves in the last 18 months.
The first, Rose Polge , was barely six months out of medical school.
She took her own life when her workload became too much to bear. Rose committed suicide the day after Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt finally announced to Parliament that he was imposing his infamous contract on juniors.
As Rose’s mother put it: “Exhaustion due to long hours, despair at her future in medicine and the news of the imposition of the new contract were definite contributors to this awful and final decision.”
When it emerged Rose had been midway through a shift one Friday afternoon before vanishing, leaving a suicide note in her car that mentioned the Health Secretary, then walking into the sea, I felt sick with recognition.
I don’t know a single junior doctor who hasn’t at times felt utter despair at the burden of trying to keep patients safe in today’s overstretched and understaffed NHS.
There are times when, crouched in dark hospital corridors, I have wept with sheer exhaustion. I have seen colleagues become suicidal in the relentless struggle to try to give patients a half-decent service.
There is something spectacularly wrong with the NHS if those entrusted with saving lives end up taking their own. You would think that for the Department of Health, even one junior doctor suicide would be one too many. As it is, they seem to ignore the problem.
They are not even collecting national figures on how many junior doctors take their lives each year. It is as if they don’t care.
Could it be the real solution to the pressures on young doctors – ie. properly staffing their rotas – costs too much for the Treasury to contemplate?
And that austerity economics means more to this Government than doctors’ lives? We are short of about 6,000 doctors and 40,000 nurses.
Yet the amount the Government is willing to spend on health per head of population is falling for the first time in history.
For patients, this means NHS rationing. Already, Trusts are considering cutting hip and knee replacements and cataract surgery.
The misery this will unleash should make any Health Secretary feel mortified.
For frontline staff, the funding cuts herald ever more stressful working conditions. I’ve known doctors who have fled the NHS for Australia, quit medicine – or even taken their own lives.
Imagine spending six years slogging through exams at medical school only to find the job you dreamed of is too hellish to bear.
Imagine the shame of being the Secretary of State allowing that on your watch.
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