Many people forget that doctors have a family, their own priorities and a social life outside their job. A seven day job consisting of unsociable hours takes all this away from a doctor. Everyone deserves time away from their job, including GP’s. According to the Parliament’s website, The House of Commons have sat only 4 times on a Saturday since 1939. The expectation of GP’s to sit in their surgery every Saturday and Sunday is slightly absurd if the government can’t manage it themselves.Also, according to the Guardian’s Datablog, dated 23 April 2013, MP’s work 69 hours per week and this equates to 2,070 hours per year. According to this new proposal, GP’s would have to work 84 hours a week which totals to 4,368 hours per year. This is 2298 hours more than the average MP would work per year. On average, before tax, a backseat MP is paid £64,766 per year (National Statistics (14 November 2008) 2008 Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings, p.2) which can be compared to a GP whose average salary before tax is £54,319 (NHS Careers). Therefore the calculated difference is £10,447. Doctors will be expected to work 4,368 hours per year for the same pay as working 3,120 hours per year. To me, these calculations show that this proposal isn’t fair on doctors. Recently, efforts have been made to reduce the pressure on A&E departments. However, the NHS is a huge system and by moving the pressure from one department to another, nothing will be achieved. In my opinion, the only way the pressure will be reduced is if patients are educated about the various places they can seek medical help. In the past, patients have found A&E the easiest method of getting guaranteed medical attention. This needs to change, but by now encouraging floods of patients to see their GP, the pressure on GP’s has risen considerably. So much so, that many GP practices have 1 extended hours evening where services are offered till late to provide for patients who work long hours.
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