This is a follow-up to yesterday’s post, Living With The NHS.
I live in the UK now. The “conservative” UK government is engaged in a pay-for-play operation to destroy then privatize the National Health Service (NHS) so big companies can make the kind of profits they make in the United States. (Expert tip for beginners: “Pay-for-play” is the definition of “conservative” policies, Every. Single. Time.)
The government is currently run by the Conservative Party, called “Tories”. They have been playing the standard “conservative” game for almost 15 years: cut taxes for the rich & their corporations, then complain about “deficits” and cut the things government does to make people’s lives better. Eventually things collapse, and public assets can be privatized so the wealthy get the return instead of the pubic. Here the cutting game is called “austerity” – cutting the budget of everything, every year. Things are so bad now in the UK that every single thing is breaking down.
The NHS in particular is in crisis. There are HUGE waiting lists for everything, even in emergency rooms. Facilities are not maintained – not even painted. There are 8,858 vacancies for doctors. The doctors and other workers in the system are not paid much, many are giving up and leaving. The conservatives running the government are doing what they can to keep the NHS from hiring new healthcare workers, including banning health care worker immigrants from bringing their families to the UK.
They previously had promised to address the shortage by increasing the number of places at medical schools from 7,500 to 15,000 and to target more new doctors to areas that need them the most.
And Then This
That was then. In today’s news, Government U-turn on plans to double number of medical students in England,
But a leaked letter written jointly by health minister Andrew Stephenson and the minister for skills, apprenticeships and higher education, Robert Halfon, to the independent regulator the Office for Students, says they will fund only 350 additional places for trainee doctors in 2025-26. This is less than a quarter of the annual number widely anticipated and there is no guarantee that even that level of resource will be repeated.
350 places, not 7,500. No guarantee on even the 350. So with this crisis at the NHS and this huge shortage of doctors the conservatives are cutting back the number of doctors to be trained.
And there it is.