Doctors would be forgiven for no longer wanting to work in the NHS - Yorkshire Post Letters

From: Terry Riordan, Ottery St Mary, Exeter.

As a long retired hospital doctor, I felt almost sick as I watched the brilliant ITV series Breathtaking about the Covid pandemic. I understood the utter horror doctors and nurses went through as a tidal wave of illness hit an over-stretched, ill-prepared service; whilst they and their families were at risk of serious illness or even death.

As the government partied and enabled eye-wateringly profitable contracts for their cronies, front-line staff kept going; but were blamed by angry patients or relatives for circumstances entirely outside their control.

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Near the end of the final episode Emma, a medical student who’d taken on huge responsibilities, admitted she was near to giving up her medical career. Abbey the consultant replied that she’d thought of giving up, but by carrying on they could make a difference to people’s lives. That is of course the reason most doctors and nurses take up their calling.

Junior doctors on strike. PIC: Jonathan Brady/PA WireJunior doctors on strike. PIC: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire
Junior doctors on strike. PIC: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire

However, with an ageing and unhealthier population, the demand for medical services is relentlessly increasing, when doctor numbers are falling. Many suffer from burn-out and there’s growing frustration and disillusion caused by the impossibility of delivering the standard of care they wish to provide.

I know highly experienced, dedicated doctors who were desperate to retire early and others who’ve told their children not to become doctors.

Junior doctors typically start work with debt of £70,000 - £90,000, whilst pay has fallen by 26 per cent in real terms since 2008. Some junior doctors are giving up medicine altogether whilst others are leaving Britain to work in countries such as Canada and Australia.

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This useless government, obsessed with ‘stop the boats’ and trying to distract from their failures, has caused terrible damage to our precious NHS.

It’s the public’s top concern, but Hunt’s budget does virtually nothing to help an already cash-strapped NHS. As voters we can and must get rid of this government at the general election.

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