Why no Hutton-style inquiry for GP deaths?
No doubt we have all been following the inquiry into the tragic death of Dr David Kelly. The poor man seems to have been pushed, some might say hounded, into a corner by pressure from the Ministry of Defence, the Government and the media.
But why is there no Hutton-style inquiry when a GP commits suicide? Surely there are obvious parallels. GPs are also squeezed by pressures and are caught between the ever-increasing burden from a media-provoked consumerism/complaint culture and a Government desperately 'spinning' the NHS and setting ever more ambitious (and unachievable) targets.
Surely health ministers should be called to such an inquiry to explain the pressures on GPs. Perhaps the Prime Minister could explain the role of Government spin in demoralising the profession.
Civil servants in the Department of Health could explain why they are already backtracking on promises made in the new contract. Perhaps all the background contract paperwork could be laid before the inquiry?
Was the much-quoted claim that the Iraqis could launch weapons of mass destruction within 45 minutes any more unrealistic than Government claims that all patients can be seen by their GP within 48 hours? I think we should be told.
Dr Peter O'Donnell