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Irresponsible attitude to out-of-hours

I completely disagree with Professor Roger Jones on out-of-hours care and object to his ill-considered use of the words 'avarice' and 'idleness' when he talks about fellow members of his profession.

It worries me greatly that someone who should be promoting general practice could be thinking in these terms.

Perhaps Professor Jones would like to consider whether he currently has the right beliefs to be teaching potential GPs when he holds such an extreme view about his GP colleagues' moral standards.

I hope Professor Jones can reconsider his stance, and choose a more positive attitude, before he delivers his next lecture about general practice.

Dr Andy Lindop, Derby

Professor Roger Jones's comments in your debate are clearly his own, but represent a stark reminder that individual views are not necessarily reflective of the whole.

This is a GP who has reached into academia, is part-time and possibly older than most of us.

For him to suggest that to decline out-of-hours work is a sign of laziness has clear disregard for younger full-time colleagues who are deeply troubled by the imposition of additional workload.

To suggest we should in effect practise reverse ageism and get colleagues 'in the early years' to shoulder the burden of out-of-hours is simply quite silly.

Both Pulse and our academic GP colleagues have a duty to remain in touch with the groundswell of opinion. Articles need to be published with care and attention, as they will be read by others as well as doctors.

To suggest we are in danger of deserving to be caricatured as lazy is irresponsible to the profession.

Name supplied, a GP in Fareham, Hampshire

Editor's note

Professor Jones's comments do seem to have elicited a strong reaction from some GPs.

They were made as part of a head-to-head debate, with the alternative view put by Dr David Bailey. Pulse does strive to be in touch with mainstream GP opinion, but we also have a duty to provide a forum for views across the spectrum of general practice, even when they are provocative.

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