Thoughts from an active pensioner who is now somewhat past his Biblical "Use-by date"

"Why just be difficult, when with a little more effort you can be bloody impossible?"

Monday, 3 October 2011

Conservative Conference - The NHS

Up to now all that has been said by speakers at the Conservative Party Conference has been said before. Osborne, in particular had nothing worth saying, other than "no-change".

But Andrew Lansley talking about the NHS said that "The NHS will introduce mandatory language tests for doctors moving to Britain after training elsewhere in the European Union.".
An interesting statement, but will the EU allow it?  Up to now the line has been "We're terribly sorry, but the EU insists on qualified doctors being allowed to work anywhere within the EU". Obviously we will need to wait and see. It is perhaps also worth noting that nothing was said about nurses, with whom the average patient probably has more contact.
He also said  “And all that is why, since the election, we now have 1,500 more doctors and 5,000 fewer managers in the NHS.
This may be true in terms of numbers, but as has been pointed out to me by a female consultant that I know, the medical schools are now turning out more female doctors than ever before, but many of these, once fully qualified, only work part time, and in her view the "full-time equivalent" of doctors in the NHS has actually fallen . This has been confirmed as far as I am concerned by what has happened following the retirement of my full-time (male) GP.  I have been allocated to a new female doctor, but informed that she will only be working three days a week.  "You are of course free to see any of the other doctors on days when she is not available should you wish". Assuming, of course that I am able to get an appointment from the reduced "doctor-hours" now available at the surgery.
If this is typical, I suspect that the 1500 extra doctors are needed merely because more doctors are working part time.

PS  Does anyone know how many hospitals there are in the UK? The loss of 5000 administrators doesn't seem to be many when averaged over all our hospitals, one or two per hospital maybe; not much of an achievement!

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