Patrick Christys: The main motivation for going into medicine should be to save lives - not to make as much money as possible

If GPs need to be forced to work in more deprived areas then so be it

Published

We hear a lot about levelling up but maybe, just maybe we’re actually starting to see it.

GPS are set to be barred from choosing to practice in rich areas and could be forced to work in poorer towns under new government plans.

It comes after a former senior official put forward the scheme to improve the health in more deprived areas of England.

Geographically, we’re a relatively small nation and we spend a shed load of cash every single year on health and social care.

It’s disgraceful that we have a situation that if you live in Westminster men have an average life expectancy of 85, if you’re a woman you’re expected to live to 87. Kensington and Chelsea 83 for men and 87 for women. But then in Liverpool and Manchester men are expected to live to 76 and women to 80. And don’t get me started on Glasgow!

General practices in deprived areas are being disproportionately affected by “a mounting cycle of pressures” driven by workforce shortages and higher patient volumes, the Health Foundation has found It’s a fact that GPs in deprived areas see between 15 and 10% more patients, it doesn’t take a genius to work out that in more deprived parts of the UK there is higher population density and these areas also tend to see higher levels of immigration so, therefore, higher population growth as well.

And, typically, people in deprived areas are likely to suffer from more health conditions so it creates this, quite literal, death spiral of poor healthcare.

Now, I can understand why a GP would rather work in Kensington than Keigthly, but that’s not really the point of the job.

The main part of the job is providing healthcare to people and if GPs need to be forced to work in more deprived areas then so be it. And it emerged over the weekend that the proposed GP strike appears to be closer than ever.

Dr Richard Vautrey, chair of the British Medical Association’s General Practitioner’s Committee, has essentially been forced out of office.

Reports suggest that the BMA has now been captured by a group of just 12 militant medics, essentially a cabal of medically trained Trots who care more about trying to bring down the government than caring for their patients.

It appears that they’ve decided to go to war with the government over plans to make GP practices more accountable for the amount of face-to-face appointments they deliver.

But in any war, there are casualties, and in this case, the casualties are you, me and our loved ones.

I think it’s important to say that there is a misconception that there is some kind of slur campaign against all GPs, that’s not the case. But there is huge levels of patient dissatisfaction.

One anonymous GP in the Telegraph over the weekend told of patients coming to him privately after being misdiagnosed, only to find out that they’re going to die.

One lady was told her cough was just a virus, it turns out she has cancer deposits in her ribs and she won’t see Christmas.

We hear a lot about the mental health crisis among the public – I wonder if there is a mental health crisis in the British Medical Association and among some GPs.

And they need therapy. They need a complete cognitive shift. They need a re-education.

The main motivation for going into medicine should be to save lives, especially in the most deprived areas, not to make as much money as possible, with as little accountability as possible