- Why not blame the politicians rather than the GPs?
When there is a crisis, it is easy to blame the wrong and often defenceless party. Hospitals yesterday, GP’s today? Take your pick, but how about examining carefully the historic destruction wrought by the politicians? For well over 20 years Ministers of Health, often for personal kudos, have played football with the structure of the NHS. In particular they have ruined the outer defences of the NHS where there used to be efficient 24 hour care by GPs for deserving and worried patients, thus keeping them out of A&E.
In the 70s and 80s I was one of tens of thousands of local GPs in the community. I had a binding legal contract with the government to look after the 2,000 patients on my list 24 hours a day to the best of my ability whenever they needed help or advice. In a partnership of five doctors, we shared all night and weekend calls through the year. Patients were very considerate, but less worried as they knew they could ring us if they had a problem. For various reasons this 24 hour GP contract was revoked gradually and a part time near salaried contract substituted.
Sadly it suited politicians to forget that nationally, GPs sorted out 90-95% of the public’s problems without bothering the hospitals. There is now absolutely no chance of restoring the old contracted and protective GP wall around all hospitals.
Attendance at A&E is not the fault of the patients as they have been abandoned to their own devices. Now in the absence...Show MoreCompeting Interests: None declared.