Comment on Mark Aitken’s opinion piece on EWTD
From Dr Eric Watts, Chair of Doctors for the NHS:
“EWTD is not the problem – underfunding is. This item does show many problems with our current NHS but they are not simply the result of the EWTD which has been used by many as another stick to beat the EU with.
“The facts about underfunding are simply stated in our ‘5 things…’ leaflet and it is clear that we need more doctors, more nurses and more beds.
“We also need to recognise that overworked doctors will not be as safe as those who have adequate periods of rest and recovery whether we are in or out of the EU.
“Whilst I share fond memories of the camaraderie of the Golden Age of the NHS I do recall being dreadfully tired during long periods on call e.g. whole weekends. Modern medicine moves at a faster pace and we must have adequate numbers of staff working safe rotas. EWTD is not the problem, the shortage of doctors caused by underfunding is.”
From Dr Peter Fisher, President of DFNHS:
“There is an interesting piece in the BMJ of 9th July (http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.13702). It says that removal of EWTD would require an act of parliament but SIMAP and Jaeger are outside the EWTD and do not require a change in British law to overturn.
“I think the views http://www.eta-i.org/xanax.html vary with age – you (Mark Aitken) and I are an older generation. It may be significant that although times were undoubtedly hard we seemed less unhappy with our lot than do today’s juniors. One key thing of course is having hospital accommodation – for families as well as for single docs –from which you can be on call.”
From Dr Jacky Davis, DFNHS EC member:
“I agree that attitudes will differ markedly with age. It is interesting and salutary talking to junior doctors. Many of them seem to hate their jobs but wouldn’t consider going back to a system which gave job satisfaction.
“We worked much longer hours (I did a 2 in 3 anaesthetic job for a while, and never saw the light of day) but less intense work, and we had a mess, accommodation and someone to cook us hot food. Some hospitals don’t even have a mess any more, and I hear that it is possible to work in a hospital and hardly know anyone there. Unthinkable in my day when’s one social life revolved around the mess.”
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