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The Maltese Falcon

Posted by Dr No on 08 November 2011

gerada_1.jpgDr No is fed up with the Health and Social Care Bill, and the interminable waffle that surrounds it. To him, it is clearly the death warrant to the National Health Service. Once enacted, it will allow any willing cowboy – and that includes the unscrupulous doctors amongst us - to ride into town, and hawk their wares. Britain’s greatest post-war achievement, healthcare on need not ability to pay, will be dynamited, and Wild West law will prevail. Many, far too many, will perish.

Faced with this threat, what do we have? Walls of argument as penetrable as fog. Touching faith in democratic and parliamentary process. But as Dr No wades through Hansard, he finds no cause for celebration. The worthy but windy briefings swirl away as an autumn mist. The Noble Lords, when not bemoaning the declining standard of Westminster biscuits, cast their breath on the looking glass of truth, and see not the angled knife at our health service’s throat, but instead their own wondrous learning, so wonderful to behold.

The survival of our national health service will not be decided on the floors and in the corridors of Westminster, but by those who use and provide the service. It is the doctors and patients who daily know the service who have the power of the casting vote. Politicians may offer us the Bill – but, as it is said, you can offer a horse water, but you cannot make it drink.

So far, doctors have been largely conspicuous by their indifference to the imminent disposal of the NHS. A handful of bloggers – Dr No dare be included – have spoken out. But the BMA speaks in forked tongues, too many Royal colleges have remained silent, and many others – notably Fatty Field – have been but tinkling cymbals.

Except for one – Clare Gerada of the Royal College of General Practitioners. This bird – a doctorpreneural bird to boot – has swooped backwards and forwards high over the looming dark clouds of the bill, and given prophecy to the unfolding storm. Perhaps a time is approaching when this Maltese Falcon may swoop down from the skies, rally her troops, and peck the eyes out of this dark, rancid and moribund bill.


Dear Dr N
Thanks for the blog and the kind words
Just to reassure - not sure I would peck anyones eyes out
I have learnt a lot this year though - about why people in high places (and lower ones to boot) do not speak out.
I have also learnt that there are so many people out there who are good people who have supported me and others working on raising concerns. I have been inspired by this.
I have even learnt to trust anonymous bloggers such as your self and WD
The Bill is paused again
Other aspects are being discussed
GP boundaries seem to be staying
Quality premium is not so prominent
GPs are becoming aware of what is being asked of them

So -
Have a good day
All best

Well done. I think Sue Bailey of psychiatry college also speaks out and is on Dr Gerrada' supporters club

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