Monday, April 24, 2006

Strike to save the NHS??

A letter to the Editor, Metro

As a GP about to retire early because of Blair's managerialist meddling with the NHS, I have much sympathy with the hospital workers who are ready to "strike to save the NHS" (as your front page puts it on Monday 24th), but in reality a strike by NHS workers would only make things ten times worse. A far better tactic would be for all non-NHS workers to take a five minute break at nine AM on a Monday morning to discuss the plight of the NHS. The weekly discussion should continue until some agreed Government climb-down has been achieved. This could be the cancellation of the present wave of threatened redundancies of nurses, together with the cancellation of Mr Blair's planned "Choose and Book" scheme, which is generally held by health professionals to be a ill-thought out waste of NHS money.

This discussion break is not a strike, so would escape the legal penalties for secondary strikes, but if it was widely adopted it would irritate employers so much that they would soon force Blair to climb down. When all is said and done, Blair listens to business, not to people. If you find this suggestion interesting, why not discuss it with your colleagues at work - say next Monday morning, first thing?

Dr Richard Lawson

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