On the way to gym club today we passed the hospital as usual. But unlike usual I was beeping my horn in support of the junior doctors standing there in the hail, on strike.
I don’t usually talk about political issues on here – that’s not the reason I started blogging and I’ve seen too many discussions on the internet descend into name-calling and slanging matches. I’m not going to go into all the ins and outs of the arguments in this battle between them and Jeremy Hunt. Suffice it to say that these are not petulant toddlers, stamping their feet and whining that they don’t want to work harder. They are dedicated professionals who put in long hours to get this far and already work damn hard. People who deserve better than a forced imposition of an unfair contract.
I know there are problems in the NHS; long waiting times, unequal access, and so on. But I don’t believe this is the way to tackle it. And I worry that this is just the start of the NHS being dismantled piece by piece. This fight isn’t just about junior doctors – it’s about what comes next. Who will be next in the firing line? Nurses? Consultants?
What do I know? I’m just an individual, a mother. All I know is that the NHS has been a life-saver for us over this last year. Literally. The NHS was there to diagnose Pudding’s mucopolysaccharidosis. It was there to offer treatment within a week. It was there to arrange all the tests and screening to check his vital organs. It was there to pick up the pieces when I cried every week. It was there to help us get onto the clinical trial that may save his life. It is there offering a safety net if we need it.
I am so scared that one day it won’t be there.
So, junior doctors, I stand with you.