The NHS, a lesson in politics part XIII
My conscience hath a thousand several tongues,
And every tongue brings in a several tale,
And every tale condemns me for a villain.
– Shakespeare, Richard III
Let me be blunt dear reader. Next week (25th of April) will determine the shape of the NHS for the next generation. If the collective will of junior doctors falters, the NHS will crumble.
Look, I know some of you are un-easy about a full walk out. That’s just grand. However there are more consultants than juniors (in some cases 4 times). Your trust has had 6 weeks to shift resources around to provide adequate cover.
There will more senior staff cover than on bank holidays
Now, as we all know, its not junior doctors that affect mortality rates, its actually nurses, followed by consultants. Imitates Hunts blinky face: There have been infinity billion studies that prove that you are more likely to die at the weekend because 17 consultants out of ~70 thousand opted out of working at the weekend ceases Huntery. Nurses and consultants are not on strike (yet) so don’t worry.
Mortality rates improve during strikes
Less people die during strikes. It’s a meta-study based fact. Go be a doctor and look it up.
Why am I banging on about this?
You as junior doctors only have one thing, and that is unity. We all know you hate the BMA, it just so happens that you hate Hunt even more. This is not to say that all of the BMA is bad, far from it.
Yes BMA House is stuffed full or podgy leaky little turds, creating sub committees to discuss biscuit purchasing, or shitting all over the press team and diluting any spark of genius into a congealing tepid flow of sixth form political wankery.
However the grassroots local reps, they are people who work tirelessly without recognition for your right to go home on time, get paid, have a family and generally operate like a normal person.
These local reps have been working tirelessly to make sure that you don’t feel the heat of the red-hot poker being forcibly applied to your gaping anal fissure. All of this work will be for nothing if you break ranks now. Go find your local Rep and give them a hug.
You are the thin red line against the marauding Russian cavalry; only by standing shoulder to shoulder will you overcome the odds.
Go out on strike
Yes do it. Your patients are in good hands. If they aren’t you need to report your consultant to the GMC for being shit.
There will not be another time to do this again. A stumble now will cost you, and by proxy, me everything.
I’ll let you into a secret, I’m not doing this out of the goodness of my heart, I’m doing this because I want my children to live long and health lives, regardless of their income. I don’t want them to suffer in pain because they can’t afford the £5k co-pay for whichever treatment they need. I doubt you do too.
So lets put this issue to bed, strike now and force the government to stumble.
The public support you.
Despite warnings, more of the public are supporting you than ever before. That’s even after the whole “Saturday pay” bullshit, deep down, they understand. They understand that piece meal “market reforms” will make sure those in the bottom 90th centile of earnings will be rewarded 19th century style healthcare. Slice/dice no after care, good luck with that infection. Community care, just without the care, or the community, so not that far removed from “mental health” now…..
I leave you with a quote from another obstinate little shit: Thomas Paine
There are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods