An exclusive interview with a minister from the Department of GP Eradication, in the latest installment of Pulse’s surreal blog ‘Through the K hole’.
Speaking from inside a van somewhere near Finsbury Park, a minister gives the lowdown on the Government’s latest plan to purge the country of qualified GPs.
‘Over the years politicians have tried a number of different strategies to rid the country of its so-called family doctors. Crap pay, watered-down contracts, a media hate campaign, witchhunts over taxes, tighter regulation, revalidation and now commissioning responsibilities to name but a few.’
‘These have had mixed reviews and to those who may have lost faith I point to MTAS and the work permits for overseas doctors. These are shining examples of what we can achieve if we really think about things. These schemes really did cull the numbers but I’ll be the first to admit that the success stories have been few and far between. For some reason, despite our best efforts, GPs still seem to quite enjoy their job. They even have a name for it, it’s called “a calling”…yeah I know, it makes you shudder, doesn’t it?’
‘They’ve remained in posts in drizzly northern towns speaking to sick people all day even when we’ve dangled lucrative Australian contracts in front of them. And if sandy beaches, sizzling barbecues and smooth healthy skin isn’t enough to tempt them then nothing will. In fact, only this morning, a bigoted voter came up to me and said: “Why can’t they just leave us all in peace?…We don’t need them anymore, and Australia is such a nice country, why can’t they just get go back to where they came from?”. A view I know that many of my frustrated constituents support.’
‘That’s why I’ve been proactive about things and I’ve decided to set myself up in business. I now run a small London-based company that specialises in pest control. With the help of my wife’s financial backing, my brother-in-law’s van and a rather large net I aim to cleanse society of GPs during the term of this current administration. And Finsbury Park, where we are now, is literally teeming with the little b**tards.’
‘I’ll give you an example of my work. Only last week, despite recent reductions in their salary, swingeing cuts, tax hikes and an increase in extended hours I discovered a small enclave of GPs working out of the sewers under number 34. They were being kept alive by a lady who didn’t know any better and who was leaving out small cups of milk and jam sandwiches for them. Right after a cabinet meeting, the health secretary and I jumped into the van and bombed it round. Whilst he bolted down the manhole covers I pumped ‘em full of gas. It was f***ing carnage down there, I can tell you.’
‘As we speak I’ve got one of their number tied up in the back of the van. She’s one of the lucky ones though – I’ve got orders to put her on a plane at Heathrow and by lunchtime tomorrow she’ll be sipping cocktails in Brisbane wondering why she hadn’t decided to be kidnapped before.’
‘I see parallels between our work here and what happened during the Great Leap Forward as part of Chariman Mao’s cultural revolution. The only difference is that it’s a bit less Chinese and a bit less cultured and maybe not such a great leap forward to be honest.’
‘The official advice from the Department of GP Eradication remains the same – if you encounter a GP run like f**k unless you’re heavily armed.’
A recently qualified GP who is living in financial fear in a caravan park just outside Grimsby says: ‘The government must really hate us – they’ve engineered such uncertainty in primary care that the only job I can get is a piss-poor salaried post. I may be anaemic and emaciated with stress but medicine is the only thing I know. To help make ends meet I’m a pickpocket on Tuesday and Thursday mornings and I sell myself down at the railway station for a thrupenny bit.’
As the hollow van doors are slammed on the profession the political traps are being set and baited. We may survive the great purge but one thing’s for sure.. we’re all going to end up getting covered in s**t.
Written in response to: Brain drain fears as GPs lured down under by promise of better pay and flexible working Dr Kevin Hinkley is a GP in Aberdeen.
Click here for more from Through the K hole Through the K hole – credit HaPe Gera, Flickr