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Brexit is the only solution

Dr Zishan Syed

The referendum has energised politics and highly polarised views are emerging.

The ‘remain’ camp insist that we should stay for the sake of the NHS.

This is nonsense. Fundamentally the problem is one of empathy. You see, the problem is mainly that we have an elite group of politicians who have become detached from the realities and hardships of the British people. Whatever your profession, you can be sure that the elite in favour of the EU have little understanding of your daily hardships. This is obviously apparent when we see how little politicians understand of the problems frontline NHS staff face.

Messrs Cameron and Hunt have repeatedly pushed for a seven-day NHS - this is a delusion because present services are already suffocated of funds and are struggling.

The disastrous approach to the junior contract by Hunt showed a visceral contempt for the welfare of frontline doctors with the same misguided seven-day NHS justification. Dr Sarah Wollaston who condemned the junior doctor strike action as an ‘absolute disgrace’ has ‘defected’ to the remain campaign. Jeremy Hunt also supports the remain campaign. Junior doctors, GPs and consultants are all being asked to do more for less. Doctors are leaving the UK and many junior doctors do not want to become GPs. Data from NHS education Scotland shows 20% of places are unfilled. Many GP trainees want to emigrate because of the toxic working conditions of the NHS.

The Government’s response to the problems of the NHS is to mercilessly pursue hardworking professionals with more regulation. Rethinking regulation, published by the Professional Standards Authority makes it clear that the UK’s current regulators such as the CQC are too expensive to fund, and are over-complicated. An internal review of the GMC found that 28 doctors committed suicide while under investigation by the regulator. The GMC is accountable to Parliament through the House of Commons health committee.

We then move to the controversial subject of immigration. For too long this has been a ‘no go issue.’ We learn from Steve Hilton (former PM adviser) concerning immigration that Mr Cameron was told directly of the impossible nature of controlling immigration with present EU legislation. It is a sad reality but there is abuse of the NHS by non UK citizens. It is only fair they pay up front if they are not entitled to free care. The Government must stop anyone taking advantage of a system already under immense pressure but its approach once again has been to pressure frontline health staff into resolving an immigration issue that is the Government’s responsibility. Simon Stevens, NHS Chief Executive, warns it’s going to be ‘bloody tough’ for the NHS in the future due to lack of funding. The present lack of control over immigration will make this considerably worse.

Doctors are dying, retiring in droves and emigrating. I cannot see any benefit the EU has provided that has helped me and any other frontline staff in dealing with the present crisis in the NHS. Every day it becomes apparent that those in support of the remain campaign are divorced from the realities of the NHS. Vote Brexit.

Dr Zishan Syed is a GP Partner in Kent

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Readers' comments (21)

  • whether we vote in or out the problems of the NHS are solely due to British Politicians. All the decisions to have the biggest reorganization in the NHS' history, 7 day working (routine), starving of funding etc are all down to west-minister politicians.

    given that, i'm voting Brexit - why?

    firstly - it's about accountability. Politicians conveniently hide behind Europe and blame Europe for political decisions. With Brexit accountability goes to Westminister and they wont have anyone to blame for their decisions or lack of. The public will hold them to account and can't keep blaming immigrants for using up NHS resources.

    secondly - A quick end - the NHS is in decline and if we stay in Europe we are going to have a long drawn out painful end to the NHS. With Brexit and the likely downturn politicians are going to have to either slash the NHS or fund it properly either way they can't hide or fudge decisions.

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  • Still no light on the subject from either side. Rhetoric, but little reality.

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  • Vote to leave Europe to precipitate a move to a more European healthcare system!

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  • This is a very weird piece - as far as I can see there is only one paragraph that has anything to do with the referendum: the paragraph about immigration.

    Not sure what the other 7 paragraphs are doing here.

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  • Vinci Ho

    For a matter of fairness , I think you should place Dr David Coleman's article side by side to this one.

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  • Swipe left

  • I completely disagree.

    none of the issues you've mentioned, Zishan, have anything to do with the EU!

    the issues with the NHS, introduction of CQC, budget austerity, cuts to social care, poorly thought through workforce planning and increasing workload dump on primary care are the responsibility of the reigning government and no one else.

    Leaving the EU will make any difference to the above, and may in fact, make things worse due to the impending economic shock.

    An argument that Hunt and Wollaston as people that we dislike are for remain, therefore we should brexit - is simply not an effective one. Don't forget that Boris Johnson made a very scathing attack on Junior doctors in the spectator during the peak of the JD strikes, and Gove is the original architect of the tough inspector regime, demoralise and then privatise.

    Finally immigration works both ways. As an immigrant myself, as well my EU wife (also a GP) with 36% of the NHS medical workforce immigrants too, I cannot help but feel the "abuse" of our welfare state is simply incomparable to the advantages from immigration.

    Dont forget that the MAJORITY of the UK's immigration comes from OUTSIDE of the EU, and that at within the EU we have mechanisms to recuperate costs from the countries.

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  • Wow! Surely Pulse could have found someone at least a little informed. I know it's an opinion piece but that usually implies some kind of research into or expertise on the information already available. This is just an ignorant anti-immigrant rant. He even quotes Steve Holton, as if his opinion carries any weight.

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  • *Hilton*

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  • I believe uncontrolled immigration has some part to play in public services in some parts of this country including the NHS.
    Challenges what NHS facing in current times are largely based on supply(funding/recruitment) and demand(ever increasing number of clients with complex expectations and needs). Not to mention the waste and mismanagement of resources.
    Immigrants has been contributing to NHS since its birth in 1948.Vast numbers are from the common wealth(often forgotten)and the EU.
    I do not know how the Brexit will affect the NHS but certainly if the UK has mechanisms to control the numbers arriving in this country then the public services will have the ability to better plan for the demand it creates.
    It is no-brainer, if you do not have any control over the numbers of people arrive in this country, you certainly find the planning of public services to provide good quality care/services would always suffer and the first people to suffer would be the indigenous or immigrant families at the bottom of the pile.
    I would like to see the unity among all of the countries not only in the EU but also rest of the world. Division always create more problems than solving them yet we need to understand respect the human psychology and behavior when they compete with each other for limited resources.

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