A big alarm bell is ringing and shouldn’t be ignored. We could soon find ourselves with half of the general practitioners, without them being replaced by doctors from the EU because of Brexit.
Doctors are helping to save lives, but they’re also tired of working incessantly on the brink of a nervous breakdown. More than heroes, they feel like tired soldiers, after a year on the covid front line.
In addition to fatigue, doctors worry about the risk of losing their license due to legal and regulatory consequences of wrong diagnostic or treatment prescription. Remote consultations are not at all simple, sometimes there’s a lack of basic tools to be able to diagnose a patient and some situations can become really stressful.
This is the silent cry for help that floats among the 2500 doctors interviewed by the MDDUS (The Medical and Dental Defence Union of Scotland).
“The pandemic has left doctors struggling to cope with patient care, their mental wellbeing and their desire to stay in the NHS for the long term.” says Chris Kenny, MDDUS chief executive.
While the demand continues to rise, with a conspicuous increase in the number of people who want to see a GP (400.000 more in just three weeks compared to last year), coronavirus regulations also put a strain on the ability to manage their patients. Four out of five GPs’ day-to-day work in general practice is being disrupted by staff self-isolating, and 29% feel their ability to care for patients has been undermined.
When they can visit their patients, less than a third (28% according to the BMA) feel fully protected in their place of work.
“To be caring for patients, many of whom are seriously ill and need complex care, while anxious about the adequacy of your own protection from the virus should not be happening in a 21st-century health service.” said Rob Harwood, chair of the BMA consultants committee.
It’s not a surprise that 51% of respondents to the poll said they plan to quit the NHS within five years. Among those, a scary 76% is thinking about quitting medicine practice for good.
Surely the next few years will be crucial for the healthcare sector and the NHS must work hard to retain its GPs, providing all possible support, including psychological one, to deal with a period of acute crisis.
What we can do as a specialised recruiting company for healthcare, is offer a platform that, on one hand, helps with nurse placement, and on the other, help public and private companies not to be left without medical personnel.