Wednesday, May 04, 2005

"The Catastrophic Collapse in Morale Among Doctors"

In the April 30 Lancet, a scathing editorial about the untoward influence of managers and politicians on British health care.
(Not available without a subscription, the citation is: Anonymous. The unspoken issue that haunts the UK general election. Lancet 2005; 365: 1515.)

Here are some key quotes:
  • "But sadly, Labour, Conservative, and Liberal Democrat politicians have failed to address the single most important factor hindering the improvement of health services - the catastrohic collapse in morale among doctors. Doctors at all levels within the NHS are utterly demoralised."
  • "They are cynical about a new cadre of managers who have little clinical understanding but create a massively overmanaged health service. And they feel let down by their own leaders, who have consistently failed to articulate a positive and assertive vision about the contribution modern medicine makes to society."
  • "What UK medicine needs is a new and stronger political voice, one that is more concerned with augmenting professional standards than with protecting professional status."
Sounds familiar here in the US. As an American physician, I feel my British colleagues pain. Maybe we can get together across the Atlantic and figure out how to fight overmanagement and foster our professional values.

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