One of the more striking and duplicitous bits of Nazi propaganda was their use of the slogan “Arbeit Macht Frei” – ‘work makes you free’. It was widely used, but never with more cynical and chilling effect than over the entrance gates to the death camps. Dr No cannot help but notice that the Obersturmführers of medical revalidation have already started a creep towards similar twisted propaganda.
Last September, we had Obersturmführer Godden telling us why we need revalidation; and how it will promote ‘an environment in which excellence can flourish’. Never mind that he relies on the words of ex-Obergruppenführer Patricia Hewitt, perhaps the most detested Health Secretary of recent years.
Last November, we had Obersturmführer Professor Steve Field, Chief Pongo at the RCGP, urging doctors to embrace revalidation: ‘Revalidation is solely about professional development, not weeding out bad doctors…If it just ends up as a guillotine, then we will have lost the plot.’ Never mind that, according to his own College, as many as one in seven GPs may face le chop once revalidation gets going.
And now we have Obersturmführers Cole and Swart echoing Field, telling us it is ‘time to embrace revalidation’. Never mind that Obersturmführer Swart is sure that there will be ‘a few glitches’ (that’s having our careers set on fire to you and me) along the way.
The fact is, regardless of what these propagandists, these medical Goebbels, might want us to believe, embracing revalidation makes about as much sense as embracing a hand grenade with the safety pin out.
Revalidation is not ‘solely about professional development’ – were that so, there would be no need for the cumbersome bureaucracy of State control attached to it. No Sir, make no mistake, it has everything to do with professional control by the State. Far from enhancing professional freedom, it will achieve the opposite: direct control of the right to practice by a State quango; and doctors found wanting will indeed face le chop.
And yet, remarkably, the great majority of the medical profession seem oblivious to the growing menace. Surely they can’t believe ‘Revalidung macht frei!’ – can they?