Doctors should join the ‘real world’

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I am furious that members of the British Medical Association (BMA) were on strike (sic) on Thursday.

It is curious that the Spring Vale medical practice on-line appointments had only one doctor available on Thursday, but several others on the surrounding days.

It seems that a salary averaging £100,000 a year and an index-linked pension of £46,000 a year is not enough.

Well, it’s time to join the real world, where the average private sector pension is £5,800 or less.

The medical profession seems to regard itself as a special case, despite the fact that the almost-bankrupt UK is heading for a depression worse than in the 1930’s, so it is not surprising that doctors’ terms of employment are being changed.

They still have the option of early retirement and using some of their inflated salary to purchase an additional pension, like ordinary folk.

I would not be so cross if doctors actually worked hard enough to justify such enormous salaries, but now they work standard office hours, use computers for some of their diagnoses and provide an impersonal out of hours cover, when inconveniently some people fall ill.

I speak from some personal knowledge, as my late father was an old-style family GP.

After his education was interrupted by the Second World War, he went to medical school and graduated at the age of 34, driven by a deeply-felt desire to be a doctor.

His tales of the hours worked as a junior doctor would horrify today’s generation of medics, but at least he had a tremendous knowledge of medicine and patients when he entered General Practice.

He and his partner had an enormous area to cover in their country practice, eight miles plus in each direction from home, yet every patient needing a home visit any time of day or night, whatever the weather, received a home visit. For, as my father once said, despite some of the calls being trivial, he had to attend to ensure that his conscience was clear should he miss the genuine medical emergencies.

He worked long hours, as a result of his dedication to medicine and the care of his patients.

More importantly, he was respected by his patients, who appreciated his kindness and experience.

He didn’t earn one of today’s hugely-inflated salaries, but was comfortably off, in a rural and relatively impoverished community (sounds familiar?).

Yes, he drove expensive cars, but was not ashamed to do so. I often smile when I pass our GPs’ car park and notice the rather mundane vehicles on show and wonder where the ‘posh’ cars are kept.

I am disgusted with the BMA and our current medical profession: truly a case of greedy donkeys led by even greedier donkeys.

Finally, I have requested anonymity because my medical care is now controlled by the whim of the ‘professionals’ and would not wish my future health to be jeopardised.