Thursday, 31 January 2008

Alan Johnson vs. your GP

It takes a lot of brass neck to offer GPs a contract they accept, then change your mind long after the deal is done and dusted, and blame the GPs. But like too many members of the cabinet these days, brass neck is in plentiful supply when it comes to Alan Johnson.

When he's not blaming the doctors themselves, he blames them collectively as the BMA. Family doctors are 'out of touch with patients' he tells us. Unlike politicians, that is. Still it could be worse, it could still be that Patricia Hewett harpie in charge; she made even Alan Johnson look competent. This government is not alone in not having a clue how to run the NHS.

The most important issue facing any government in it's management of the NHS is this: how do we continue to provide free healthcare for all when the range of treatments (and the age of the patients) is increasing so rapidly? Even if the government diverted it's entire income from taxation to the NHS there would not be enough. GPs working longer less social hours is a trivial irrelevance set against that. At some point soon we need a government with the guts to offer a real solution, rather than tinkering round the edges hoping it will all hold together until after the next election.

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