Sunday, August 14, 2016

Look up...

A fair bit of palpable angst dripped out of the voice. A young gentleman- early in his career- yet a bit unsure of where things were heading. As I sipped on a delectable cup of hospital coffee, you had to wonder what sort of role we as seniors continue to play in this whole saga of the NHS, the crunching environment of finances - and the responsibility towards patients we hold.

Politics always has fascinated me- and there is no denying Britain has offered a lesson in politics- which no one has been able to predict- the twists and turns being of a monumental proportion- and in the middle of it all, the healthcare system has gone through the squeeze. Junior doctors turned out to be a lightening rod for many, perhaps serving a bigger agenda for some- while most of the young doctors just want a good secure future, the ability to see patients and the support to do their job well. What DOES one say to these people? That the system is all shot- and we shouldn't bother? That we are willing to sacrifice them while we think of how changes can be made in a political landscape which has baffled many?

Whatever be ones belief or political leaning, a democracy without a healthy opposition is always a bad thing- whosoever is in power- and the billion dollar question sits with that young individual…what about me? And we must find some time to answer that somehow. I don't have all the answers but if one looks at Facebook forums, the answer doesn't sit there. Its angry, its burning, its driven with angst, its for a call to arms, its for the "greater good", its "actually all for the patients"…..what about the ones who struggle NOW? What about the ones who have uncertainty over their careers NOW?

I wish I had the answers- and I do not judge those who fight the way they choose- but we must also have some time who want to have some answers now…and thats what this blog is about. I wish all of those who have taken the cudgels up to save the NHS or raise issues but for the many others, a plea to also find time for all those juniors caught in the middle…juniors who want to know they have done the right thing by choosing this amazing profession, juniors who want to know that seniors are there for them- not just walking away with a shrug of the shoulders.

As a collective, we can and we should try- at least in my opinion. It costs little to buy a weekend team a round of coffee, find time to smile, say hello, talk about how #medicineisbrilliant and how, all said and done, its still such an amazing profession to be a part of. Not many get a chance to help others- and we should have our roles in there- making our generation next feel wanted- feel they are part of this entire family.

There are many ways to save the NHS- if thats what you want- whether that be by being part of a political alternative, or raising voices on the streets- or indeed working within the system to help others. Or just do the simple things every day- and make sure we have a bunch of good, motivated doctors to look after us when we need them. Many ways to help the NHS- and we would do well not to lose sight of them.

So, in the month of the Olympics, where inspirational story appears daily, as a senior, to all the junior doctors out there…take some time to look up too. I certainly will try to extend a helping hand when I can. Failing all..theres always time for a coffee and an arm around the shoulder.

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