OK, DO Y'ALL KNOW WHAT'S GOING ON WITH THE JUNIOR DOCTORS CONTRACT AT THE MOMENT?
Realise a lot of my list pals are beautiful brilliant Americans and not sure how much this news has travelled. Lemme break it down.
- •A public service announcement, with some small bits of context thrown in for good measure, if you'll allow:
- •This is Jeremy Hunt - he's the health secretary in the current Conservative Government. Prior to this he co-authored a paper arguing for the dissolution of the NHS in favour of a private, insurance based model. He's as Tory as Tory gets.
- •In favour of the NHS part one: my mumMy mum contracted a disease when she was 11 called Osteomylitis. She was in a body cast for a YEAR and walked with a severe limp her whole life, in great pain, until her 40s, when she relapsed, and had to have her hip replaced. Now she can run, jump, cycle and walk for miles. It cost her nothing. The NHS did that. It saved my mum's life and meant we can go on walks. The NHS is fundamentally a brilliant thing.
- •What's Jeremy Hunt doing?Jeremy Hunt is intending to impose a new contract on junior doctors that effectively means they'll work more hours for less pay. 98% of junior doctors oppose the contract. Junior doctors work crazy hours. They work evenings and weekends. They go above and beyond. And they're being asked to do more, for less.
- •Related: Jeremy Hunt won't sit down with junior doctors. He claims they don't work weekends. He calls paramedics 'ambulance drivers'. He is utterly clueless or worse, deliberately spreading misinformation.
- •Strikes. Loads of them.The BMA, the union who support doctors, are notoriously conservative - there's never been a doctor's strike until now. They've done two, and announced another three.
- •Why more strikes?Because Jeremy Hunt is attempting to unilaterally impose the contract from August despite the opposition and the real fear that it might KILL PEOPLE. Jeremy Hunt doesn't care. He wants to make the NHS look like it's failing so he can privatise it. That's how privatisation works.
- •In favour of the NHS part two: my friend JohnLast summer my friend John called his GP feeling sick. He was told to go into hospital, where he was promptly diagnosed with cancer, a very rare, very weird, hard to treat cancer. Since then I've been to hospital more than I've ever been in my life. I've seen nurses and doctors work so hard to save his life, and I think they're going to do it. I think they've actually done it. Again: no charge.
- •THATS CHEMO, BED AND BOARD, BONE MARROW BIOPSIES, MEDICATION AND ALL SORTS FOR FREE. BECAUSE STAYING ALIVE IS A BASIC HUMAN RIGHT AND SHOULD BE AVAILABLE TO EVERYONE REGARDLESS OF WEALTH, CLASS, ETC.
- •I am very worried that this time next year the NHS won't exist. That's why I wear this badge. It really is everyone's fight, public support is unanimously in their favour, and I sincerely hope that their demands are met.
- •Thanks for listening listers. Your pal, Harry