Maybe it’s me; I guess it is.

I thought that the medical profession was motivated by vocation – a desire to make the sick well and defend the most vulnerable in our society.   Its values, as I perceived them, were founded upon an ancient and sacred oath.  In return for that vocation, society tends to pay its medical professionals as well as it can.  They enjoy a higher standard of living than most of us, a greater degree of respect, and a greater degree of job satisfaction.

Perhaps I set my standards too high, and perhaps the world is moving on from a place in which we can expect to be healed – I don’t know.  But it does upset the balance of my respect when I see members of the noblest of professions represented by university yearlings waving placards in the best traditions of the Socialist Workers’ Party.  And I do wonder if they realise how ingeniously they are being used.

Today they elected to strike.  That is, they decided to withdraw the conditions of their oath from ordinary people far less well remunerated, with far less reward, than themselves.  They showed themselves prepared to allow a risk of death to we poorer folks in order to advance their cause.

I have this message.

It is personal – forgive me.   It contains some anger.  Again, forgive me.

 You might not like the government, but a majority as defined by our voting system elected them and that contains at least an essence of democracy.  So, sorry, I thought the elected government’s mandate was to run the country?  I don’t remember voting for the British Medical Association, and I don’t expect them to hold the elected government or my health to ransom.  Yours is a political strike, heartless and cynical, with no regard for the nobility of the profession you decided to adopt.  It is not motivated by concern about additional hours, it is all about the possibility you might have to accept a reduction in your ‘Premium Payment’ for weekend working, and your case holds a colander-full of water, because even within your own profession nurses, care workers etc., a lot more poorly paid than you, do not share those privileges.   Stop whingeing and get back to work!

I understand some of you have threatened to resign over this issue.  I personally believe (if that is not merely a disguise for setting forth in private practice) you should.  If you lack that much dedication I would rather not be subjected to your ‘care’.

And who knows?  After you have had some experience of the real world and smelled the coffee, your attitude might change?

10 Comments

  1. The medical profession is run the same as all others – Money!! “Caring” for people became ‘old-school’ when the last doctor made his final house-call.

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  2. I don’t know about this particular issue, so I can’t speak toward it other than to say it must be very frustrating indeed. Luckily, there are still some caring healthcare providers out there (hey, I have to defend my brethren somewhat, right? 😉 ), but sometimes they can be difficult to find. Plus, many of them end up getting burned out and moving on.

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    1. Thank you for this comment. Of course there are many whose vocation is genuine, I know that; just as I know that many are extremely uneasy at finding themselves in a position where they are associated with this kind of action. I believe it may be that the BMA have enjoyed a very powerful position in the establishment for far too long, and they are increasingly resistant to any sort of change.

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  3. My Dad, who was a pediatrician in County Durham, made house calls right up until he retired. He lauded National Health when it came in after WWII. He would turn in his grave if he knew about a doctor’s strike. I believe that your ire is well placed and could also be directed at many of the incredibly well reimbursed doctors in the USA. My daughter and son-in-law are also medical doctors. They are serving in Honduras where they are paid a pittance and next year will rely solely on donations from parents and others in order to continue serving this very poor and needy community. Although I am ignorant about the issues relating to the UK doctor’s strike I agree 100% with your disgust at their stand which is so alien to the Hippocratic oath, and indeed; what about nurses to name only one of the many support professions?

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    1. All credit to your daughter and son-in-law. I don’t want to be accused of too many ‘rants’, but there is a another blog to be written concerning the dangerously resurgent left wing in British politics at the moment. We are in great peril of returning to a strike-hit situation reminiscent of the 1970s. The eagerness for confrontation is in the air so palpably you can feel it. Jeremy Corbyn’s neo-communist opposition is about to be tested in local elections this Spring, so we will see what happens when he gets the public verdict, because in most respects the junior doctors’ action is no more than a pawn in that particular political game.

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  4. In the US we know that it is the all mighty dollar that lies behind much of medical practice. Not that there aren’t compassionate doctors—there are many. But here the insurance companies dominate medical care. We don’t have doctor strikes, but we also don’t have a national health care system. So…just imagine—it could be worse!

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    1. Yes, I imagine that would be worse. The trouble, it seems, is that many want private medicine to succeed in UK, too, where currently it is the province of the wealthy. This sort of action helps to bring the National Health Service to its knees. Vested interests enticed our last government into unwise financial decisions and created a weakness thereby: I think they now sense the time is right to move in.

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      1. I don’t know very much about the NHS; most of what I know is based on British TV shows like Doc Martin and Call the Midwife. But from what I do know, I envy you all across the pond (and north of our border in Canada and in all other places with a single payer system). I hope you can preserve what is good about it and improve on the things tha don’t work as well. Privatized medicine is for the wealthy. And inherently unfair.

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