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Private firm GP deal to be signed

Now this is more of an issue than the complementary medicine thing.

The number of corporate bodies leaching money from the NHS is a real issue.

Admittedly its all a result of the NHS not competing with private firms in terms of wages. However this is just leading to doctors being pouched and sold back to the NHS at a higher rate than they would have paid if they'd been competitive in the first place.

Comments

( 14 comments — Leave a comment )
atreic
26th May, 2006 07:31 (UTC)
The average NHS GPs salery is over 100K. Whether or not that is competitive with private firms, its an almost obscene amount of money compaired to what we pay our teachers, nurses, lectururs, social workers, etc etc. I'd love to see a more socialist world where it was less about what one could earn and more about what one needed to live. I have very little sympathy for doctors who whinge they are not being paid enough.
ex_robhu
26th May, 2006 07:44 (UTC)
I agree with you entirely atreic, the real problem here is capitalism. Although capitalism has many advantages (which should be obvious) one of the downsides is that you do end up with people who don't get paid very much at all (or nothing).

Revolution!
atreic
26th May, 2006 09:15 (UTC)
I think the real problem is greed, the people for whom when the answer to the question "can I get more money" is yes never bother to ask the question "should I get more money". The current problem with supermarkets and fair trade goods is a good example of this.
ex_robhu
26th May, 2006 10:45 (UTC)
Perhaps.

I think the most dangerous thing about capitalism in our society is not with the individual but with the corporation.

Have you seen: http://www.thecorporation.com/ ?
ex_robhu
26th May, 2006 07:45 (UTC)
Just to mildly counter my own point...

Do you think it's true that it is harder (in terms of needing more training to a higher level and requiring a person with higher intelligence) to be a doctor than to be a teacher? I suspect this is true.

Generally speaking in capitalism because such conditions lead to a shortage of supply you naturally find the rates for such jobs dramatically increase.
atreic
26th May, 2006 09:09 (UTC)
We have much lower standards that we consider acceptable for teachers than we do for doctors. There are pretty stringent guidelines in place for doctors, and it is very difficult to get onto a medical degree - it is quite hard to be a crap doctor (one who misdiagnoses things / kills people / etc). However, there are very few of these things in place for teachers - it is fairly easy to get onto a teacher training course, and especially in unpopular subjects or primary schools often the teacher will not have a good qualification in the subject they are teaching. So in the UK at the moment, yes, it is much harder to become a doctor than to become a teacher, and the standard of doctors is much higher.

A question that is more interesting is whether it is harder to be a good doctor than to be a good teacher. Doctors need a huge range of medical knowledge, and some of them do some really awful stuff (like working with dying people etc) It's obviously a very difficult job. But teachers work with 30 people at a time, many of whom do not want to be there, also require a large amount of academic training, and need the additional ability to be able to teach what they know, which is very hard in itself. Which sounds hardest to you - a day working as a GP or a day working as a teacher?
ex_robhu
26th May, 2006 09:28 (UTC)
Being a GP sounds harder to me but that's entirely subjective.
atreic
26th May, 2006 10:09 (UTC)
Oh, that's odd. I was making lots of (obviously wrong) assumptions about you. I suppose I guessed that to most geek types, with their known anti-socialness and love of problem solving, dealing with one person who needs your help (GPs can be seen as debugging people's bodies - you get some symptoms and try to fix the problem) would be easier than dealing with 30 people, many of whom don't wish to be there and cannot understand things that you've explained hundreds of times and thought were easy.
ex_robhu
26th May, 2006 10:31 (UTC)
I think that being a teacher might be harder emotionally in the sense that you have to teach people some of whom are going to find being taught hard and may not even want to be there. On the other hand doctors (I'm talking more generally than GP's) might have to tell people that they don't have long to live or can't have children or what have you. In other countries they may have to help people die / kill them as well which I imagine is extremely draining.

I think some of the assumptions about me are true. I would prefer to be a doctor for the exact reasons you've given (although I think the amount of problem solving for a GP is probably quite low compared to many other fields e.g. Computer Science). What I was trying to say though is that I think you need a more intelligent person to be a good doctor than to be a good teacher.
atreic
26th May, 2006 10:36 (UTC)
So imagine there are two jobs

Job one requires an intelligent person to do something they really enjoy doing, in a nice working environment, with free coffee and an office and nice collegues, and flexitime etc etc. Job two could be done by anyone with half a brain, but it is essential for the good of the country that it gets done, and involves working antisocial hours in the dark, mud, rain, doing lots of painful things and has a far higher chance that you will be killed than job one.

Do you think that the person doing job one should be paid more than the person doing job two?
ex_robhu
26th May, 2006 10:44 (UTC)
I don't think people should be paid at all in the way you suggest. I would like to be some kind of communist.

I think money although it is a very useful system of tokens that allows us to manage complex things is also prone to large abuse because of human nature and the way capitalism works.

Ideally everyone would just have what they need (well - more than they need) in some equal way and people would just do the jobs they wanted to.

I don't think this is going to happen though as if I didn't need to work I probably wouldn't (although in reality I would probably then go off and do interesting useful computer things and be more useful to society than I am now). At the very least I think people would avoid the 'crappy' jobs out there which do need to be done. This is one of the reasons why I don't think anarchism will work - people don't want to do crappy things.

I like the utopian view of the future in Star Trek where because of scientific advances it is so easy to have what you need / want (replicators etc) that people are freed from having to have particular jobs so they go off and do what interests them - which is more beneficial ultimately to society.

Going back to what you actually said. With capitalism obviously they both have things that will raise the price paid for such a job - purely on supply and demand. There is a shortage of people who are intelligent, and a shortage of people who will do dangerous painful crappy jobs - although there are fewer I think of the former than of the latter. The intelligent people are probably more likely to be well organised and so therefore exert some control over their employer whereas the less intelligent people are more likely to be exploited.

Revolution!
hmmm_tea
29th May, 2006 19:30 (UTC)
I think you miss my point. It's more the fact that the NHS is designed to fit into a capatalist state and so has to deal with the issues involved with that.

A lot of people will quite happily accept more money if offered it elsewhere. The NHS hasn't been competitive with this and so has ended up paying out more for those particular doctors (as they have to factor in the private companies profit) as a result.

Salaries tend to be a more supply and demand thing rather than based on whether that person deserve that amount.
ext_4934
27th May, 2006 06:25 (UTC)
But public-private partnerships can be a good thing. There are far greater incentives for efficiency in the private sector, so a better service can be provided for the amount of money. The article did sya there was going to be an increase in Saturday surgeries etc

I'm not saying it's wonderful, I'm just putting the other side of the argument forward (partly because I'm doing an exam partly on this on Monday!) In an *ideal* world, doctors would be motivated by a public service ethos and a desire to help, and wouldn't need incentives to be efficient. But it's a fact of life that most people are motivated by monetary incentives, because they want to make the best life for themselves and their families.
(Anonymous)
30th May, 2006 11:06 (UTC)
PFI works.
At least for the shareholders and board of the chosen company.
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