I’ve never quite understood why this is happening. Yes, I know that the contracts are being changed and that one of bug bears is the redefinition of out of hours working, weekends and all that. But whenever I see the union bods talking and being asked to define their grievances, they just bang on about the wicked heartless Tories, putting patients at risk, not privatising the NHS and saving the NHS for the people. They never actually answer the question.
So I’ve come to the conclusion that these strikes are mainly political. After all, continually striking like this makes me more inclined to use private medical care. I appreciate not everyone can afford it, but let’s not kid ourselves it’s always been there. I see no creeping privatisation.
And if we’re going to try to take the moral high ground about patient safety, then why does the next strike planned for later this month remove the emergency care cover currently being provided. Won’t this put patients at risk?
Furthermore, they’re going to stop covering ITU. The clue is in the name. People are in ITU because they’re critically ill. They’re in danger of dying. So maybe the removal of this cover is just to grab the headlines when the first patient dies? Of course, it won’t be the fault of the striking doctors; it will be all down to Jeremy Hunt for forcing them to let people die. Let’s up the political stakes and to hell with the poor bloody patients we’re shouting so loudly about putting first.
And Mrs D made me think yesterday morning as the BBC and Sky News covered the picket lines outside hospitals. They were all smiling happily and seemed jolly pleased to be there. Smile – you’re the telly!
No, I’m afraid any sympathy I had for junior doctors has evaporated. You’ve lost my support – and I suspect the public’s patience will soon run out too if you keep playing politics with people’s lives.