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Pulse checker: Ministers to tackle climate change through GP prescriptions

Pulse checker: Ministers to tackle climate change through GP prescriptions

The Government has announced it will fight the main threat to the future of mankind through GP prescribing.

Ministers say their big solution to the cost-of-living crisis – for GPs to prescribe vouchers – could easily be applied to tackling climate change. 

Environment secretary Ranil Jayawardena told Pulse Checker: ‘We’ve heard some crazy ideas, such as applying pressure on oil companies. Under our more sensible plans, GPs will be able to hand out prescriptions for sunburn, heatstroke and injuries sustained in the upcoming wars over increasingly scarce basic resources. 

‘GPs are best placed to provide support in the future, including delivering ice on home visits and giving care in makeshift camps in the post-apocalyptic world.’

Health secretary Dr Thérèse Coffey added: ‘We can also announce funding of £1 per patient for every degree increase in the earth’s temperature, and free fans when consulting rooms hit 50 degrees.’

The plan to charge GPs for appointments

Former Conservative leadership candidate Rishi Sunak proposed to charge GPs for every patient they see, in order to raise funding to improve GP access. 

Mr Sunak told Pulse Checker that GP access needed to be improved, and that would require funding. 

He said: ‘We toyed with the idea of charging people for failing to attend GP appointments, but we felt we couldn’t do that to voters – sorry, patients – during a cost-of-living crisis that had nothing at all to do with me. 

‘We’ve always said GPs are overpaid. Some are earning £100,000 a year, almost 1/7300th of my personal wealth. So it makes much more sense to raise money through them, to help pay for more GPs and improve access for patients.’ 

Newly appointed Prime Minister Liz Truss said the problem was GPs were idle and ‘preferred pop music to work’. She insisted that both patients and GPs should be charged, with the money going to fund tax cuts.

The stupid things politicians say

‘How can this be? Nearly one fifth of GPs work on average 26 hours a week as 50% of all patients struggle to get through to their family doctor’
Former minister Esther McVey struggles with the concept of working less than full time

‘Reduce the pay of doctors and NHS managers by 10%. NHS pay has rocketed in the middle years of this decade… pay raises are already falling as the service returns to sanity, but not far enough.’
Reform think-tank report in 2009, co-authored by its then deputy director Liz Truss

This month, GPs have been blamed for…

…wanting to be paid for providing Covid vaccines. ‘GPs want a bonus to lead autumn Covid booster vaccine drive: Family doctors call for £10-a-jab supplement to return as they accuse ministers of trying to run the rollout “on the cheap”,’ MailOnline, 16 August 2022

…failing to update their lists. ‘GPs resist NHS request to update their registers despite concerns some practices are including DEAD patients,’ MailOnline, 18 August 2022

Answers on a postcard

Our new quiz for those who are fluent in management speak

What did the Government mean in its consultation on a new national vaccination service when it said this: ‘We will work collaboratively with a range of stakeholders to test this vision and design a framework that enables systems to make it a reality for their populations, building on what is already working well. The framework should provide national infrastructure and enablers where it makes sense to do so…’

  • A It’s about systems and places and that and, er, making frameworks a reality for our population. I think.
  • B It’s all about stakeholders being able to enable stuff. 
  • C The writers were being paid by the word.

Answer If you said C, you were wrong – no government could afford to pay NHS report writers by the word.