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Gold, incentives and meh

Why I absolutely think we should work weekends

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Honk! Yeah, that was me supporting the junior’s strike yesterday as opposed to me puking up at the thought of having to cope without my trusty, striking trainee.

So it might sound odd to hear that I absolutely support weekend work being viewed as routine, both for hos-docs and GPs, but bear with me.

I actually find it hard to articulate how bonkers I view the Government’s obsession with promulgating the idea that medical care should be available to everyone, all the time. Whenever I try to express why this is so wrong, I just end up banging my head against the nearest wall and sobbing uncontrollably.

I support weekend working. So long as, of course, that it means we stop weekday working

To summarise as best I can: there is too much medicine. The better access we provide and the more ‘routine’ we define it, the more the punters find reasons to attend, the earlier they come and the more disjointed their care. The result is people who are overmedicalised, overinvestigated and overtreated. Money is wasted, anxiety heightened, illness created. It achieves the exact opposite of what is intended. I’ll have to stop now because I’m welling up and looking at some bricks.

Anyhow, that’s why I support weekend working. So long as, of course, that it means we stop weekday working. Provide a two day week of medical care, same pay, five days off. Patients would quickly learn that medical care is actually a precious resource not to be abused, the epidemic of iatrogenesis would be averted, and we doctors would cheer up immensely.

Honk if you support this idea. And pass the vomit bucket if you’re sick of where we’re heading.

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

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Readers' comments (32)

  • Hear Hear!!!!

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  • Honk....bleeeaaarrrrghh

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  • Brilliant!

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  • Harry Longman

    HONK! Double benefit, on weekdays patients could all just go to A&E and then the hospitals will get to suck in more money so the NHS will have an even bigger begging bowl.

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  • Absolutely brilliant!

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  • Spot On!

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  • Honk!!!

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  • I think we should be sensible and start by demanding a four day week. It would almost immediately save 20% of the Nhs cost. The government doesn't seem to have grasped the fact that supermarkets open at weekends is so that people spend money they didn't really need to.

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  • Honk Honk = ouawaaah !
    It might even save the NHS

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  • Irony?

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  • Honk

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  • Brilliant!

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  • Only if you assume GP's have been put on the face of the earth to do GP work...

    Last time I checked, I'd been reassigned to preventing hospital admissions and checking boilers.

    no honk from me, I need that vomit bucket.

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  • Spot on

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  • You are absolutely right, David Copperfield. Weekend working was fairly successful in the olden days because, generally, patients didn't want to be seen. It cost them money they didn't have, and they genuinely didn't want to disturb the doctor. It meant that the ones who were seen tended to be genuinely ill

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  • Russell Thorpe

    Brilliant as always I didn't see that one coming

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  • Great idea...perhaps I might suggest a single day during the week when GPs work exclusivity in the homes of the extremely elderly (anyone over 105) ..to prevent admission to hospital, administer immunisations, test for the need for statins and perform dementia screening with the aim to significantly reduce mortality in this age group. Think of the money the government would save ensuring these folk don't ever end up needing to go to hospital or get generally poorly. Perhaps we could then set up LES's in some regions on a Thursday exclusively to attend to the health concerns of the perfectly well, who are otherwise too busy down the gym on Friday to Wednesday's , so we can screen them for the most recent condition featured on hollyoaks/embarrassing bodies or in men's health magazine ...think of the money the government would save ensuring these healthy working gym attending folk had exclusive guaranteed access to a GP on a Thursday so they can be reassured they are indeed perfectly well.

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  • Stunned at the brilliant simplicity in which the crucial summary of what's wrong has been embedded in this blog - send it to DoH/JH/DC et al (with a massive old fashioned car hooter) Honk! Honk!

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  • Could not agree more that extending access only increases doctor- dependence. We are making people more ill, not less.

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  • Haircuts are cheaper during the week, and the queues to call up call centres when I lose my internet passwords are less.
    Theme parks are empty also!

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From: Copperfield

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