Cut In Doctors'
Working Hours Will Lead To Chaos
As I have shown on numerous
occasions, whenever doctors go on strike the number of patient deaths falls
And so, theoretically, a cut in the number of hours doctors
are allowed to work should benefit patients.
With doctors sitting at
home watching TV patients should be safer.
But things won't work out
quite so satisfactorily, as new EU laws mean that the number of hours doctors
are allowed to work will be slashed.
Nurses will have to deal with emergencies. Nurses will have to
perform procedures formerly performed by doctors. And nurses will have to make
decisions on drug therapy.
The result, I predict, will be a rapid rise
in the incidence of iatrogenesis and a dramatic increase in waiting times for
medical advice. Outside in the community patients will find it increasingly
difficult to get an appointment (or a home consultation) with a GP.
is, of course, sensible that doctors working hours should be limited. When I
worked as a young hospital doctor I often worked over 100 hours a week. I once
managed the maximum of 168 hours work in a single week. By the end of the work I
was operating like a zombie.
But the EU should have given governments
more time to train the additional doctors who will be needed.
will benefit if doctors are less tired.
But the way the EU has
introduced these changes - and the way governments have responded to them - will
result in even more patient deaths.
Once again the EU and the British
Government have screwed up.
This time their incompetence won't just cost
Thousands of patients will die unnecessary because of this
cock-up: as nurses struggle to do work for which they have not been properly
The only thing I can promise you is that if Tony Blair or his
family need medical care, teams of fully-qualified doctors will be on hand day
I can guarantee that if Cherie Blair falls ill her life won't
depend upon the quality of a life-or-death decision being made by a harassed,
partly trained nurse.
On the other hand, your life might.
Note: See also How To Stop Your Doctor Killing You by Vernon
Coleman, published by EMJ Books at £12.99 and available through the shop on this
website, through other web based bookshops, through high street bookshops and
through lending libraries.
Copyright Vernon Coleman 2004