Smile! You’re on the picket line!

So – yet another strike by junior doctors. This time 48 hours and the promise of more to come.

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.


5 responses to “Smile! You’re on the picket line!

  1. Kath Lissenden

    four years ago when the government changed all the GP contracts without consultation my GP of 25 years standing was livid, I remember talking to him about it at the time. He said I signed a contract and now the government has moved the goalposts. I could completely understand his anger. Strikes by GP’s were planned at the time, and I asked him “Will you be striking?” He said, “No matter how angry I am about this I will NOT jeopardise my patients well being by striking, so no I won’t be joining the strike!” I knew the answer before asking the question, because he is a proper dedicated healthcare professional. Striking by the junior Doctors is totally political and has no bearing on out of hours treatment or the NHS in crisis it’s not even about unacceptably long working hours. It’s all politically motivated. They want to think themselves lucky they are not in the army. because the army have really shit conditions, the food is dire and they pay through the nose to be treated like garbage, they can’t strike!

  2. A couple of days ago I read this viewpoint about the strikes and it certainly paints it as very much politically motivated

  3. Actually, private operators selling their services to the NHS is not a bad thing. It works well in France. What matters is the service provided to the end user.

  4. Obviously a cash grab nothing more nothing less greedy 10 holidays a year doctor cunts! They are doing this because of doctor shortages as well. You could also do it yourself surgery if a doctor is unavailable or get some great medical advice from a stranger.
    I get all mine from works fucking wonders I might be going partly blind but just think of all the dosh I saved all thanks to Sir Limpys rat poison eye treatment plan…. just kidding of course but seriously these young GP’s are cunts

  5. Stonyground

    It has been mentioned elsewhere, Samizdata I think, that the strikers and protesters tend to be somewhat left of centre in their thinking, that is somewhat statist in their views. Statists having a problem with the state dictating what their pay and conditions should be, is a little ironic to say the least.