Professional bodies need to act

doctorsThe news that 20 out of 22 medical professional bodies have signed a letter calling on Junior Doctors to halt their 5 day strike has inevitably made headline news. Yesterday I heard an interview with Simon Paterson-Brown, a Council member for one of those bodies, known as the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh which despite its name, has some 20,000 members, 8,000 of whom are based in England. The College is one of the signatories to this letter, but Mr Paterson-Brown was unequivocal in his condemnation of the Government over this dispute putting almost all of the blame for the dispute at their door. The idea of professional bodies calling on members and potential members to act in a different manner to the one they have planned is perfectly reasonable. However professional bodies also need to be willing to speak out to the rest of society as Simon was doing and to consider acting themselves. It is vital that these bodies use their its influence with the Government to ensure that along with the halting of the strike, that the imposition of this potentially damaging contract on junior doctors is also halted and the Government commits to holding talks with them to achieve a proper and lasting resolution. As someone who used the NHS in the last week, I can see that the withdrawal of labour is something that will cause suffering to others. However I can also see that the Government owes it to all of us to ensure that all of those working in this large and complex organisation need to be motivated and provided with a safe working environment which includes the terms of their contracts. The way that the Government has handled this whole forced changed, going back many years reflects badly on the government and in the long term puts far more patients at risk than a 5 day strike. The Government must focus on providing us with a service that meets its real objectives, not one that gets treated as a punch bag by Jeremy Hunt or some of the more politically motivated members of the BMA.


About ianchisnall

I have a passion to see public policy made accessible everyone who want to improve the wellbeing of their communities. I am interested in issues related to crime and policing as well as in policies on health services and strategic planning.
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