As a patient I don't have a lot of sympathy
As a dentist I had flu jabs over many years, our practice paid a local GP to come in one lunchtime and give all our staff (that were willing!) a shot every year in an attempt to keep them all
Since I retired and moved to a different town I have found it very difficult to find a suitable appointment with my GP - having little choice of time and very few sessions organised.
So in recent years I have had my yearly top up at Boots, either paying for it myself or last year being able to have it paid for by the NHS.
It has either been done immediately that I turned up or I was given a time to come back, usually the same day.
Most practices these days and certainly mine have more clinical staff than a branch of Boots. The jab takes up no more than 5 to 10 minutes of clinical time at the most. Does a GP have to give it? Surely practice nurses etc are as well qualified to provide the service as a pharmacist?
I'm sure that there are plenty of missed appointments every day where there would be time to provide the service.
BUT - I absolutely agree that there should be a level field and that GP practices should be allowed either to charge for the service and/or receive the same fee as Boots for those who are eligible for NHS jabs.
I would love to have a local private GP who could afford spend some time with me if and when I needed it. I suspect that quite a large proportion of the population that has gradually been weaned off the "free at the point of care" by dental charges, prescription charges, spectacles, physiotherapy etc etc.
The trouble is that the population of GB, the politicians and I suspect many of us still agree with Aneurin Bevan that "The collective principle asserts that... no society can legitimately call itself civilised if a sick person is denied medical aid because of lack of means"
However none of us can agree on what is the definition of a sick person - but if the state is going to fund care for sick people there needs to be a much tighter definition of what a sick person is.
David Owen made a stab at it many years ago when Minster of Health and knew that the state could not pay for all health care. We have not made great progress since then.
I loved my time in practice but would have felt like most of you and most of my colleagues who were and are working on DoH terms if I had been working under them.
Ater all that you have put into your training and careers you need to be masters of your own destiny. Try private practice - you will probably be poorer ( I understand that most private dental practitioners earn less than their NHS colleagues) but you will enjoy your hard working day and want to use your immense skills for many more years - I retired at 72 regretfully - I was still enjoying looking after people.
This is a very interesting discussion and perhaps I could put in my two-pennyworth. I am a retired dentist (aged 74 now).
The problem goes right back to the start of the health service when Aneurin Bevan asserted that: -
"The collective principle asserts that... no society can legitimately call itself civilised if a sick person is denied medical aid because of lack of means"
In Place of Fear, p100
and notoriously solved the long stand-off with the BMA by "stuffing the doctors mouths with gold"
He did the same with the dentists with the result that most GPs and dentists accepted the DoH terms because they would be much better off working in the NHS than struggling to make a living from private practice - something that my father did - he was one of about 500 dentists who opted to remain in private practice. The rest joined the NHS and made a much better living than him for at least 15-20 years.
I worked in practice for 40 years - by the time that I started the NHS had been cut (by a combination of dentists working harder and earning more so that the DoH had to cut the fees to keep the Treasury happy) such that I personally could not earn a living on the terms available then and was lucky enough to take over from my father and maintain a mainly private practice. But as my specialty was paediatric dentistry I did have a pretty large NHS practice of children. Time spent was about 30% NHS 70% private. Income about 15% NHS 85% private. So my private practice was subsidising my NHS practice.
Over the years dentists (and I suspect doctors) have found ways of working faster and faster and more efficiently with the result that the DoH (pushed by the Treasury) has consistently cut fees to keep pace.
In my view the standard of care cannot keep up with this feedback mechanism.
In my honest opinion the standard of care at my local GP surgery does not bear comparison with the care given by all the staff at my old dental practice which is mainly private - children still seen under the NHS (subsidised by the rest of the practice - I suppose that you could call that a "loss leader")
(to be continued)
"Nice to see that Canada is benefiting from your UK paid education"
Not a sensible remark considering the number of health professionals that have been trained abroad at no cost to the British taxpayer and that Dr Bonnington had already put 20+ years to the service of the British population. Only good can come from professionals from all walks of life experiencing other cultures and ways of doing things surely?