YESTERDAY TCW reported the tragic case of former Scotland international footballer Andy Goram, who was unable to get a face-to-face appointment with his GP before his oesophageal cancer was terminal. In this week’s Spectator, Merion Thomas argues that general practice is broken and a major reason is the increase in part-time working. He says that 58 per cent of GPs work three days or fewer per week.
Thomas writes: ‘We’re told that seeing patients is such a stressful business that part-time working is the only way to prevent burnout. In my 33 years working as an NHS consultant surgeon, I don’t remember this ever happening to heart, brain, cancer or other specialists who take life and death decisions every day.’
I recently debated this on GB News with a young doctor who defended the idea of family-friendly working for all doctors. It is about equality, you see, so that doctor dads can be at home with their kids just like doctor mums – a game that works both ways for them and no way for us. You can see the clip here.
It costs as much to train a GP who works part-time as one who puts in a full week. Should the NHS stop offering the part-time option? Should it insist on a specific number of years of full time work in return for training?
Feel free to discuss this or anything else on your mind.