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Old 17.02.2016, 12:55
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Junior Doctors - NHS vs. Swiss

So ever more regularly, my Facebook news feed is becoming more and more cluttered with scare stories about overworked junior doctors, and more recently, how UK minister for Health Jeremy Hunt is planning to kill off the NHS.

Now for non-Brit forum members, this is a very emotive subject in the UK. When you start discussing the NHS, it's not uncommon for perfectly reasonable folk to go red in the face, shake their fists violently and eventually start spitting when trying to explain how wonderful it is. This is because for many the NHS is regarded as a religion. However for anyone that has been treated by any doctor or any hospital across Western Europe, it's clear that it's not that good.

Back to Junior Doctors, yes they work long hours, but don't they do so all over the globe? They say it's not about the work, rather the new pay deal means they won't be correctly remunerated, I get that, but isn't that the same here in Switzerland? I had a look on the forum (here, here and here )and from what I understand there's no overtime for Junior Doctors paid at all here. So why aren't all the Swiss doctors up in arms about it? There's been grumblings, but no one has ever gone on strike over it. Perhaps that's got to do with the general working culture here?
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Old 17.02.2016, 13:16
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Re: Junior Doctors - NHS vs. Swiss

No unions allowed in Switzerland? No check or balance for employees/employers?

In my experience, the NHS has always been brilliant. Stretched, rushed off its feet and often under funded, but brilliant nonetheless. Trust me. When you phone 999 at four in the morning and some knackered, resilient, entirely capable paramedic arrives 25 minutes later to tell you it's all going to be all right even though you're fairly certain the world as you knew it just tilted on its axis... it needs defending.

Junior doctors don't get paid that much when their training and skills are taken into account. I believe that one of the issues is that weekends will be treated as part of the working week. They aren't currently and it involves a wholesale contract change which will basically mean a real term pay decrease.

Someone will no doubt come along to correct me if I'm wrong!
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Old 17.02.2016, 13:27
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Re: Junior Doctors - NHS vs. Swiss

My understanding of the main issue is what a normal working day is. Jeremy hunt seems to think Saturday is a normal working day and shouldn't be paid extra. Doctors don't think that's true.

Even though they are getting a basic pay increase of 13.5% due to less extra pay for overtime this results in a pay cut for most junior doctors.

Remember a junior doctor is anyone that isn't a consultant or a qualified GP.
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Old 17.02.2016, 13:35
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Re: Junior Doctors - NHS vs. Swiss

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My understanding of the main issue is what a normal working day is. Jeremy hunt seems to think Saturday is a normal working day and shouldn't be paid extra. Doctors don't think that's true.

Even though they are getting a basic pay increase of 13.5% due to less extra pay for overtime this results in a pay cut for most junior doctors.

Remember a junior doctor is anyone that isn't a consultant or a qualified GP.


Exactly. Not to mention the fact that they should get remuneration for unsociable hours etc. Doctors have families and lives too - that seems to be forgotten.


My UK neighbour (who looks like a Hells Angel Line-backer but is actually an A+E Consultant) is up in arms because of what it is doing to morale.


Jeremy Hunt is a pillock. They'll have him in the Education hot seat next, see what he can do to that. Grr.
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Old 17.02.2016, 13:47
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Re: Junior Doctors - NHS vs. Swiss

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Perhaps that's got to do with the general working culture here?
Short of going red in the face and spitting, I can't put into words how offensive I find this remark.

NHS staff have long been overworked and underpaid. My cousin was one of the youngest matrons in the country back in the late 1970's, until she had a heart attack at 24 from overwork! She emigrated to Oz, which meant she had to go down to ward sister level in the A&E dept of a south Sydney hospital, and work her way back up.


In the late 80's, she came back to the UK and went back to work for the NHS for a couple of years, but the workload was so great that she left and went into private health care.


Another close friend is still registered on the nursing bank 11yrs after he had to give up being an ICU nurse because of his own ill health
That's just the nurses...


I spent 15yrs working 60+hrs a week in an unrelated industry, and your brain does turn to jelly, particularly between 1.30 and 4am. The physical toll is tremendous.


My OH was working 12hr shifts until November last year. He realised it's a young man's game and got out.


About 5yrs ago, a junior doctor under the North West health authority died from Sudden Death Syndrome hours after finishing a 14hr shift.


But we allow junior doctors to work 12...14...16 hour shifts?!!! Then we add insult to injury (and risk to the patients) by saying everything over the 12hrs is without pay. Then Mr. *unt forces a new working contract upon them? The man who wrote a book about breaking up the NHS a few years is now making the decisions?


The tories have added two new four letter expletives to the English language in the form of Hunt and Gove.


Walk a mile in the shoes of a junior doctor before you judge them. You're life depends on them and let's face it...the vast majority of us here simply couldn't hack that job on so many levels.
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Old 17.02.2016, 13:53
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Re: Junior Doctors - NHS vs. Swiss

https://www.healthcareers.nhs.uk/abo...ne/pay-doctors

A new doctor gets paid £22k in the UK. That's below the average salary for a graduate in the UK
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Old 17.02.2016, 13:56
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Re: Junior Doctors - NHS vs. Swiss

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Short of going red in the face and spitting, I can't put into words how offensive I find this remark.

NHS staff have long been overworked and underpaid. My cousin was one of the youngest matrons in the country back in the late 1970's, until she had a heart attack at 24 from overwork! She emigrated to Oz, which meant she had to go down to ward sister level in the A&E dept of a south Sydney hospital, and work her way back up.


In the late 80's, she came back to the UK and went back to work for the NHS for a couple of years, but the workload was so great that she left and went into private health care.


Another close friend is still registered on the nursing bank 11yrs after he had to give up being an ICU nurse because of his own ill health
That's just the nurses...


I spent 15yrs working 60+hrs a week in an unrelated industry, and your brain does turn to jelly, particularly between 1.30 and 4am. The physical toll is tremendous.


My OH was working 12hr shifts until November last year. He realised it's a young man's game and got out.


About 5yrs ago, a junior doctor under the North West health authority died from Sudden Death Syndrome hours after finishing a 14hr shift.


But we allow junior doctors to work 12...14...16 hour shifts?!!! Then we add insult to injury (and risk to the patients) by saying everything over the 12hrs is without pay. Then Mr. *unt forces a new working contract upon them? The man who wrote a book about breaking up the NHS a few years is now making the decisions?


The tories have added two new four letter expletives to the English language in the form of Hunt and Gove.


Walk a mile in the shoes of a junior doctor before you judge them. You're life depends on them and let's face it...the vast majority of us here simply couldn't hack that job on so many levels.
Where to start. Junior Doctors in the UK aren't unique you know. Junior doctors across the globe work the same hours. Here in Switzerland too. That was my point. Elsewhere they get on with it. At least in the UK they're some of the best paid in the world. And once they moved on, most other jobs can't come close in terms of money. Long shifts are the norm.

The reason this pay deal was brought in was to improve conditions for patients at weekends. Hunt isn't doing it just to piss people off. I'm no Tory but I see that the NHS needs changing. So what if he wrote a book on breaking up the NHS, at least he's on the right lines.
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Old 17.02.2016, 13:59
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Re: Junior Doctors - NHS vs. Swiss

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Where to start. Junior Doctors in the UK aren't unique you know. Junior doctors across the globe work the same hours. Here in Switzerland too. That was my point. Elsewhere they get on with it. At least in the UK they're some of the best paid in the world. And once they moved on, most other jobs can't come close in terms of money. Long shifts are the norm.

The reason this pay deal was brought in was to improve conditions for patients at weekends. Hunt isn't doing it just to piss people off. I'm no Tory but I see that the NHS needs changing. So what if he wrote a book on breaking up the NHS, at least he's on the right lines.
Any country's doctors would be unhappy at having to work more for less money.

Also working more can be detrimental to patient safety which should be the main priority.
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Old 17.02.2016, 14:02
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Re: Junior Doctors - NHS vs. Swiss

Argh. Multi-quote not working... Or the return key, apparently... Blueangel: I agree wholeheartedly with everything you say. My mum did 30 years in the NHS and the stories she tells... you cannot work effectively and at length if you are exhausted. Sleep deprivation is a method of torture for a reason. Porsche: and teachers. The starting teaching salary is, I believe, around the same £22k mark. And they too do around 50-60 hour weeks.
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Old 17.02.2016, 14:06
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Re: Junior Doctors - NHS vs. Swiss

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Any country's doctors would be unhappy at having to work more for less money.

Also working more can be detrimental to patient safety which should be the main priority.
I get that about the money however not about the safety. They work the same hours all across the world, here included, yet no one steps in to stop them doing so. This is simply about the money. They may start on 22k but they're only on that for a year.
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Old 17.02.2016, 14:16
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Re: Junior Doctors - NHS vs. Swiss

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Where to start. Junior Doctors in the UK aren't unique you know. Junior doctors across the globe work the same hours. Here in Switzerland too. That was my point. Elsewhere they get on with it. At least in the UK they're some of the best paid in the world. And once they moved on, most other jobs can't come close in terms of money. Long shifts are the norm.

The reason this pay deal was brought in was to improve conditions for patients at weekends. Hunt isn't doing it just to piss people off. I'm no Tory but I see that the NHS needs changing. So what if he wrote a book on breaking up the NHS, at least he's on the right lines.


Just because they may be working hellishly long hours globally does not make it right. Just because something happens a lot does not mean we should accept it. Just because "everyone" else is doing it doesn't mean you should... did you not learn that lesson as a kid when everyone else was smoking behind the bike sheds?


And they do "get on with it" because they are professionals. That's what they do. They may be confronted on a regular basis with the most unspeakable excuses for human detritus and they will still treat them with courtesy and respect at the end of a shift that would drive most people to their knees.


It takes a long, long time to earn the kind of money you're alluding to and then there are fees and loans to repay.


As for that utter tool being "right"... No. Just no. The NHS may need some changes - things always do - but it needs changing properly. Take some funding away from the managers who can't save a life on a Friday night when the pubs close. Take it from the Trust CEOs who can't deliver a baby or fix your dad.


Hell, take it from the politicians who can't do any of the jobs they are "elected" to tell everyone else how they should be done. That last sentence may not make sense. I hope you get my drift.


And no. Until you've been in the shoes of a junior doctor, or anyone who's ever worked 60+ hours a week simply because it's expected that that is what they will do without complaint (and without overtime as it's all supposedly covered in the salary) it's not fair to make the kinds of comments you're making.


I'm going to bake. It's too early for gin.
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Old 17.02.2016, 14:23
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Re: Junior Doctors - NHS vs. Swiss

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The reason this pay deal was brought in was to improve conditions for patients at weekends. Hunt isn't doing it just to piss people off. I'm no Tory but I see that the NHS needs changing. So what if he wrote a book on breaking up the NHS, at least he's on the right lines.
So what?

His agenda is clear and laid out in print. I would fight with every last fibre of my being for the NHS.

I've had private health care, which was rubbish, and saw a colleague (who was overly proud of his private medical care plan) delayed so long with his private asessment appointments, that he collapsed at work last year and ended up having emergency surgery under the NHS. He'd been waiting for 4 months for treatment to begin under his private policy.

My home town has a World Centre of Excellence for hip surgery...and it's NHS!

The Christie in Manchester is a World Centre of Excellence for cancer treatment...and it's NHS!

Having said that, best medical care I ever had persoanlly, was at the KAT in Athens when I was admitted for a serious head injury. Within one hour, I'd had a full set of head and upper spine x-rays done, and been examined by three doctors and a nuerosurgeon.
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Old 17.02.2016, 14:26
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Re: Junior Doctors - NHS vs. Swiss

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As for that utter tool being "right"... No. Just no. The NHS may need some changes - things always do - but it needs changing properly. Take some funding away from the managers who can't save a life on a Friday night when the pubs close. Take it from the Trust CEOs who can't deliver a baby or fix your dad....

...And no. Until you've been in the shoes of a junior doctor, or anyone who's ever worked 60+ hours a week simply because it's expected that that is what they will do without complaint (and without overtime as it's all supposedly covered in the salary) it's not fair to make the kinds of comments you're making.


I'm going to bake. It's too early for gin.
Never too early for vodka!
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Old 17.02.2016, 14:38
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Re: Junior Doctors - NHS vs. Swiss

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I've had private health care, which was rubbish, and saw a colleague (who was overly proud of his private medical care plan) delayed so long with his private asessment appointments, that he collapsed at work last year and ended up having emergency surgery under the NHS. He'd been waiting for 4 months for treatment to begin under his private policy.
On the other side of the coin, my brother needed to see a consultant for his knee. He was informed, he could have a consultation in six months.
What if he went private? He could have a consultation that afternoon with the same consultant!

There may be some great, hard-working people on the NHS but so much of the ethos is wrong.

The food is junk - even the public food areas at my old 'gold standard' NHS hospital was full of fast food joints.
My wife in hospital in the U.K. was informed that fruit day was a Thursday, only.

Go to a Swiss hospital and the food is much healthier. Go to a Swiss hospital and the lifts are empty but the stairwells are full of patients being gently 'coerced' into keeping fit and getting better. The doctors and nurses are using the stairs too.

Half the people who use the NHS probably could be in better health and in less need of medical treatment if they ate healthily and took a bit of real exercise.
The NHS doesn't seem to get this. It's too full of bean counters on one side and the PC brigade on the other.


So yes, pay doctors more (or don't pay them less) but how?
Higher taxes? A compulsory, not-for-profit health insurance like the Swiss model?
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Old 17.02.2016, 14:52
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Re: Junior Doctors - NHS vs. Swiss

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Go to a Swiss hospital and the food is much healthier. Go to a Swiss hospital and the lifts are empty but the stairwells are full of patients being gently 'coerced' into keeping fit and getting better. The doctors and nurses are using the stairs too.

Erm, not in any Swiss hospital I've been to. Doctors and nurses use the lifts plenty enough, and some wards/floors even have trotinettes to get from one end to another.
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Old 17.02.2016, 14:54
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Re: Junior Doctors - NHS vs. Swiss

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So what?

His agenda is clear and laid out in print. I would fight with every last fibre of my being for the NHS.
Why? The NHS is the FIFTH biggest employer in the WORLD. And provides the FOURTEENTH best health care in EUROPE.

If the NHS is so good, why have no other countries adopted the same model? There are other ways of providing universal health care you know.
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Old 17.02.2016, 14:59
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Re: Junior Doctors - NHS vs. Swiss

What nationality are you Loz?
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Old 17.02.2016, 15:03
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Re: Junior Doctors - NHS vs. Swiss

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So yes, pay doctors more (or don't pay them less) but how?
Higher taxes? A compulsory, not-for-profit health insurance like the Swiss model?
Is it really not-for-profit? Somebody somewhere must be coining it in... surely?

Last edited by 3Wishes; 20.02.2016 at 22:42. Reason: fixed quote
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Old 17.02.2016, 15:04
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Re: Junior Doctors - NHS vs. Swiss

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Erm, not in any Swiss hospital I've been to. Doctors and nurses use the lifts plenty enough, and some wards/floors even have trotinettes to get from one end to another.
I've been to our local hospital many, many times (not as a patient) and it's been the same every time.

Perhaps it's more on a local level?
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Old 17.02.2016, 15:04
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Is it really not-for-profit? Somebody somewhere must be coining it in... surely?
They make their profit from the supplementary insurance.
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