On Tuesday my mother, who has just undergone serious spinal/back surgery, was rushed to hospital by ambulance with a blood clot. This is called a pulmonary embolism and it’s no joke. Blood clots can be fatal. And even if they’re not, they can have serious repercussions… a blood clot that reaches the heart will cause a heart attack, on the brain it will cause a stroke. Rather luckily this one was on the lung and whilst it was extremely painful and caused difficulty breathing, at least you have two lungs. After a short stay in hospital she is now back home on medication. And what’s more there is no bill to pay. Not for the ambulance, the treatment, the hospital stay or the drugs. Ultimately there’s nothing quite like a medical drama to make you feel grateful for the NHS (National Health Service).
There’s been a great deal of media attention on our NHS recently. For those that don’t know, our Junior Doctors have been striking. This action is in response to the government’s plans to amend contracts and the changes proposed are viewed as unfair by the doctors. On the face of it the news was good. Doctors would be receiving an 11% pay rise on basic pay. But as if often the case, things are rarely as good as the government makes out and there was a price to pay.
Some of the changes being suggested are:
- The number of hours during the working week that are classed as unsociable – and therefore attract an extra payment – are being cut.
- Guaranteed pay increases linked to time in the job are being scrapped and replaced with a system linked to progression through set training stages. No good for those who wish to take time out to have a baby.
- Some doctors will end up being paid less and that the restrictions on the number of hours being worked by doctors are not strong enough.
I don’t know too much more about it but surely we need to be listening to our doctors? They are overworked and overstretched as it is. They are the people on the front line making life and death decisions on a daily basis.
Support our doctors. Save the NHS.