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At the heart of general practice since 1960

Who's to blame for GP waiting times? Elderly immigrants of course

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‘A record one in three of us are fed up with GPs’, screamed the headline. Hang on. Shurely shome mishtake? Shouldn’t that be, ‘A record one in three of us are fed up with being GPs’? Well, that would make sense if it was a Pulse headline, although I’d be wondering how on earth the other two thirds are able to keep themselves in mind-altering substances.

But it isn’t. It comes from, you guessed it, the Daily Mail. Apparently, GPs have gone from shit to utter shit on the Mail’s shitometer - thanks to a King’s Fund survey showing that the punters are dissatisfied with the NHS in general and with us in particular.

Apparently, GPs have gone from shit to utter shit on the Mail’s shitometer

This, the article points out, is because many patients are having to wait ‘up to three weeks’ for an appointment. We know why this is happening, don’t we? It’s because we’re understaffed, overworked, micromanaged, downtrodden etcetera etcetera. Right? Wrong.

The newspaper article knows the real reason. Can you guess? Clue: remember, this is the Daily Mail speaking. That’s right. It’s immigrants. Or, to quote precisely, ‘Many are finding it increasingly difficult to get an appointment as surgeries struggle to cope with rising immigration and the ageing population.’ So there you have it. Immigration is to blame. And the elderly immigrants, of course, they’re the worst. They come over here, they take our appointments. And our Zimmer frames.

How glorious for the Mail to be able to shoehorn two of its pet hates into the one story. This would be quite funny if it so obviously wasn’t. If I thought it worth dignifying with a response, I might point out that, if it wasn’t for immigrants and their progeny providing a massive part of the NHS workforce, then a three week wait for a GP appointment would be a triumph and the option to bunk off to A&E instead probably wouldn’t even exist.

But I don’t. Instead, I’m just trying to work out what comes below ‘utter shit’.

Dr Tony Copperfield is a GP in Essex. You can follow him on Twitter @DocCopperfield

Readers' comments (10)

  • I’m just trying to work out what comes below ‘utter shit’.

    Answer: The upcoming report into Junior Doctors morale that interviews only the psychotics, delusionals and Doctor siblings of current cabinet ministers.

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  • I find it utterly depressing that some of the population actually believe the faeculant torrent of hate that flows from the pages of that despicable rag. This week I had to bite my tongue whilst one of my patients demanded to see a dermatologist "on the NHS, or I'll have to pay and claim it back because it's my right" because she wanted some moles checking (obviously I couldn't look because I'm "just a GP"). When I explained about local referral guidelines and them being in place to ensure equitable & sustainable NHS funding she launched into a tirade about ""fat people & immigrants" "taking all the money" and how she "had to sit next to a Muslim woman for 4 hours" in hospital one time. She then got in her Bentley & drove off in a huff. Am I allowed to remove her from my list for being an utterly horrible human being?

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  • yes

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  • Ivan Benett

    Melena? Anyway, for once I agree with this article, although in Manchester it's also those bloody students! They don't get up 'til 11 and then clog up A&E so the old immigrants can't get seem within 4 hours.
    PS I am joking, before anyone has a go at me!!

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  • "They come over here, they take our appointments. And our Zimmer frames."

    I nearly spat my tuna sandwich on the keyboard through laughing. I have visions of my frail, elderly Pakistani Mum stealing the town's zimmer frames!

    And thank you for acknowledging the contribution played by immigrant families to the NHS. My sister is a Radiographer, a brother is a GP, another brother is a dentist and another is a pharmacist. Oh I nearly forgot my niece who is a pharmacy student.

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  • But Shaba , you shouldnt be eating your tuna sandwich at your desk! (Sorry CQC inspection coming this week - have turned my keyboard upside-down to shake out all the crumbs!) :(

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  • Anonymous at 10.24
    Just to let you know:
    BSc Bullshit
    MSc More Shit
    MBBS More Bloody Bullshit
    PhD Piled Higher and Deeper
    MD Much Dung
    D(o)H Dung heap
    HS (Health Sec) Horse SHit

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  • It's alright Ivan - you are allowed a sense of humour too!

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  • Deep shit ?
    Fan spread shit ?
    And thank you for reminding me about lunch at desk and shaking out my keyboard - anonymous at 6.29 - we have the delights of CQC this thursday. Wish us luck. I shall now shake my keyboard...

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  • Shaking the keyboard isn't enough. I would recommend a broad paintbrush to loosen the crumbs first..... I joke not!!!

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From: Copperfield

Dr Tony Copperfield is a jobbing GP in Essex with more than a few chips on his shoulder