Well I have just watched Question Time on the BBC and a couple of things caught my eye. Surprising enough they both came from the audience but they were both of sufficient common sense that I had to agree with them.
The first came from a woman who said that she was a nurse, well a sister in a hospital. The panel were debating immigration, in particular the need to earn a lot within 5 years or leave, and she said that the hospital where she works wouldn’t be operating right now if it wasn’t for the immigrant nurses working currently. She is very probably right about that and I don’t have a problem with it. We haven’t got enough nurses so we are going looking for them in different parts of the world. No one seems to disagree with this.
I have read in the press in the past couple of weeks that this Government are trying to rewrite the contract which junior doctors work to and the doctors are threatening to strike over it. Well I cannot disagree with that either. I have heard someone, I think in the Government, state that they are not having their pay cut, and they aren’t, but the Government are trying to alter the terms and conditions of the contract which while they may not be having a pay cut, they will lose money as they extra payments they get for weekends and unsocial work will be altered which will mean they do not earn as much as they currently do. This has led to a lot of newly qualified doctors leaving the UK after their training as they are unhappy with what is happening. This is perfectly understandable yet there have been a lot of comment in the press recently about how this is wrong. We are spending all this money training these people and then they bugger off to another country and we should lock them into a contract to make them work to pay this back. I have seen where it can cost £500,000 to train a doctor.
The Government don’t seem to understand that people will do this. They will take the training and then go elsewhere. Its common sense to me and yet people are saying it is wrong. If it is wrong, then it is just as wrong for us to go to other countries to recruit nurses which other Governments have spent their taxpayer’s money on by training them. We are happy to do that yet think it is wrong that other countries are willing to accept the doctors we have spent our taxpayers money on to train them. I don’t see the difference except in training costs.
What the Government needs to do is to use its common sense and stop the doctors leaving. How can they do that, well one way is not to alter the contract. I wouldn’t want to be a doctor. Imagine having to look at peoples piles. Not a pretty sight, well at least I think it would be. I have never looked at anyone piles. Like I said, the Government needs to use its common sense and not alter BUT does our Government have any. I have said elsewhere on this site, I think MP’s have the negative short answer chip inserted when they are elected. Perhaps they also have their common sense chip removed at the same time.
As for the supply of nurses, well that has a simple answer as well. The NHS must have an accurate idea of the number of people leaving or retiring each year. We just need to train more than that number. Its simple maths which even I can understand, or of course we go and get them from abroad.