We've got to win the media battle too
Every current media reference to the GP extended hours dispute is accompanied by a reminder of our current income. Recently, in a mainstream broadsheet, the health secretary successfully announced we have had a '55% pay rise'.
This is ambrosia to New Labour, which is looking to obfuscate the fact that it is diverting funds from chronic disease management into extended hours, which its own research finds 85% of the population doesn't desire.
It is imperative that a clear message is sent to the public if we are to maintain its loyalty. We cannot be seen to begrudge a few extra hours' work per week if this plays straight into the Government's hands.
On the other hand, we must emphasise our real concerns over an interfering Government that is failing to consult with doctors and nurses at the coalface, and employs bullying tactics to institute a series of ill-considered reforms.
We must make the case that the fate of the NHS is our fate and that we have profound concerns over New Labour's ability to maintain responsibility for such an invaluable institution. It is imperative the media reflects these points and does not suggest that Europe's highest-earning GPs are shirking a small increase in workload.
From Dr Angus MacDonald, Kilkhampton, Cornwall