Only a day into the New Year and we already are compiling our nominations list for the Paul Dacre award for endearing yourself to GPs.
In the red corner, we have Conservative MP Dr Liam Fox. He is claiming this morning that the ring-fence around the health service budget should be removed as everyone knows there a ‘huge amount of waste associated with it’.
He claims that the increase in funding over the last decade for the NHS has been ‘phenomenal’ and yet a lot of our health indicators lag behind other countries. He is quoted in the Guardian as saying: ‘If you treat the NHS itself as being the important entity, and not the patients, then you’re on a hiding to nothing.’
In the blue corner, we have Professor J. Meirion Thomas, chair in surgical oncology at Imperial College, claiming that the growing number of female doctors is causing workforce problems in the NHS. He claims that despite being a ‘feminist’ himself, all these pesky part-time working women being allowed by the ‘ultra-politically correct’ NHS management are not offering tax-payers value for money.
He says: ‘GPs are very well paid. Their average salary is around £103,000 — quite sufficient for a woman doctor who is also a mother to be able to afford quality childcare at home.’
We are also considering a new award for NICE after they offered some sage advice on helping your friends keep their New Year resolutions. Don’t tempt them with cake, or invite them out to the pub.
Professor Mike Kelly, director of the centre of public health at NICE, told the Daily Mail: ‘Say for example someone says, “I’m going to make a real effort to cut down on my drinking.” If the first thing that happens within the next five minutes is that a colleague says, “Come on, we’re all going down the pub after work”, that doesn’t help.’