Archives for July 3rd, 2001

DOCTORS CRITICAL OF GOVERNMENT AND NHS PLAN

Headlines, PublicNet: 3 July, 2001

Speakers at the British Medical Association annual conference criticized the government and claimed that the NHS Plan, setting out long term modernisation plans for the NHS, was not deliverable without a significant increase in workforce and resources.The message for the government was that is time is running out to solve the problems of the NHS, because doctors were close to breaking point. They have become scapegoats for the failings of a system and a society with grossly unrealistic expectations. Dr Ian Bogle, head of the BMA, said: “Many doctors would soon have to ask themselves if they were prepared to go on soaking up the pressure, filling gaps where there are doctor shortages and racing through four-minute consultations wondering afterwards whether we missed something”. He told the conference that their profession was “under siege” from politicians and the press. He said: “We have become scapegoats for the failings of a system and a society with grossly unrealistic expectations, whipping boys when government can’t live up to manifesto pledges, victims of a complaints culture fuelled by the hysteria surrounding medical mistakes.”

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UNIONS BUILDING CASE AGAINST PRIVATIZATION

Headlines, PublicNet: 3 July, 2001

Following a claim by UNISON that surveys show clearly that the public do not want private companies making a profit out essential public service, the Public and Commercial Services Union, representing over 270,000 members in the civil service and the private sector, has called for more research on the effect of public-private partnerships on the workforce.The union feels that public sector workers are not always given a fair chance to compete for work. Financial calculations about costs are often interpreted to give a more favourable than likely predictions for savings, interest rates and projected overall costs, compared to lower costs of finance from the Treasury. The PCS is concerned that the government has taken on the Thatcherite mantle of favouring the private sector in areas of difficulty in the public sector. Private sector involvement could be used to drive down wages in the public sector. The call for more research into the impact of private-public partnerships on working conditions supports a similar call made last week by the IPPR in its report.

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