Shipman report - comments
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The BMA Press Release immediately follows
this introduction. The Association does have to speak in
modified and mellow tones. countrydoctor does
not. Comment by countrydoctor follows the Press
after Shipman, patients can trust their doctors, says the BMA
Dame Janet Smith seems adept at calling a spade a spade. So is countrydoctor.
The first comment must be that, in a quest for self-justification, the enquiry team has grossly exceeded its brief. Odd, when one considers how the political WMD and Iraq war enquiry appointees grossly restricted their briefs to permit the most restrictive and centralist Prime Minister this country has ever had to escape due process.
Dame Janet Smith was asked to enquire into the misdeeds of a unique, multiple murderer who happened to be a GP. What she has proceeded to do is to tar all GPs with the same brush and recommend that all GPs should be treated as potential murderers and have their entire professional lives restricted and governed to an absurd degree.
This Report bears all the hallmarks of a government which has long wished to break and control the medical profession. Dame Janet has served the doctors up on a plate and the BMA is powerless to do anything about it.
Her Report is woolly minded and lacks any insight into the effect it will have on GP morale and the recruitment of GPs in the present and future. And, of course, on the patients of this land who cannot manage without GPs.
It is ignorant in that, in calling for even more (and more) controls and complaints against GPs, it seemingly has no knowledge of the more than 30 groups who now may ensure that doctors will be enquired upon and disciplined.
It is incompetent in that it does not take into account recent changes to the structure and perormance of the GMC.
Let us now see what Dame Janet has, in her enthusiasm, proposed for general practice. For the details we are grateful for the report in PULSE, December 13, 2004. They proposals are listed in no particular order.
inspection powers for PCOs
These are but a sample of the 100 or so recommendations made by Dame Janet. It is here that readers should make a note to visit the page on over-controlled GPs (CLICK).
countrydoctor must repeat that the Enquiry was set up to look into the misdeeds of one murderer who happened to be a doctor. What she has done, for whatever personal or other reason, is to attempt to castrate the entire profession.
We leave it to the imagination of the reader whether he believes that the list of controls above will improve the morale and job-satisfaction of the British GP or whether it will do more to improve the rate of retirements than of recruitment.
If Dame Janet has any evidence of the overall and majority incompetence of British general practitioners then she should produce that evidence. Curiously she fails to do so in any of the thousands of pages of the Reports.
In the absence such evidence, her Report is incompetent and damaging and serves no purpose other than to potentially make the serious situation of medical manpower even more serious.
General practice is over-controlled as it is. countrydoctor believes that this report is detached from the reality of the real world and should be largely ignored. However, in today's PC world that is not likely to happen.
GPs would be well advised to batten down the hatches and prepare for either emigration, retirement or a change of profession. A country which produces such a vindictive Report does not deserve you.
David Roberts - Editor countrydoctor
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