Losing public support
While I have some sympathy for our hard-working junior doctors in the NHS, their latest proposed strike actions may become counter-productive.
So far, I think the public have, by-and-large, been supportive of their cause. However, this latest strike action may start to alienate these ‘supporters’.
Junior doctors are not alone in working unsocial hours and that includes weekends. Many thousands of other workers also have to do the same.
Many of these people accept that, when they take on a job which includes working unsocial hours, then this is how it is going to be. They also acknowledge they may be paid extra for working these unsocial hours, but equally accept this may not be the case. Thus they accept their terms and conditions of their employment.
Why can’t junior doctors do the same?
To suggest junior doctors should be in the privileged position of not having to work what they perceive to be unsocial hours, is somewhat perverse and naïve.
Many are already paid handsomely compared to others who also have to work unsocial hours.
They should also realise that people do not only become ill during normal working hours but 24/7. Thus they should accept that they will be paid so much for the work that they do and that will/may involve working unsocial hours.
However, this should not be a carte blanche excuse for hospital managers to expect all junior doctors to work an excessive amount of unsocial hours and it should not be the case that any Government impose any contract which has the same effect.
Equally, it should not be the case that a group of workers – however much held in high esteem - should harm the loyalty that its ‘customers’ has for them. It may well be the case that not only will they lose patients (to private care) but equally lead to their customers losing patience.
Let me illustrate my point about alienating customers. I fancied getting a Spirit of Scotland Pass for travel on train, ferry and bus anywhere in that country.
One thing put me off doing that: the RMT’s decision to strike a number of times on Scotrail services. This was going to have a major disruption to my planned journeys. Thus, not only was ScotRail affected by my lack of custom but so too were all the other transport services, and indeed all the various industries which rely on tourism in Scotland. I was probably one of many.
Thus I implore the junior doctors to accept their lot and get on with it, just like many people already do in this country. Instant gratification is not always possible in all jobs, despite the population seeming to think that it is. ‘I want it all and I want it now’ is a poor mantra to follow.
An NHS Customer
Not a patch on original
I tuned into BBC 4 recently and watched the remake of the Alf Garnett classic BBC TV sitcom, Till Death Us Do Part.
What a terrible let down it was. The actor, Simon Day, who played Alf Garnett, was NOT a patch on the brilliant Warren Mitchell who played the original character. His actions and body language just wasn’t the same. The script, sadly, had been severely watered down so it would not offend the PC brigade.
I wonder what the families of both the late Johnny Speight (who wrote the original series) and Warren Mitchell thought of it?
Unfortunately, I sat bored watching it. I would have written a better script! They could have introduced his grandson, who was all grown up and just like his granddad.