Zara Aziz: The NHS is a sinking ship

For some years now I have been guilty of misplaced confidence in the government that it will save the NHS with all its flaws and stacking pile of problems. After all, they bailed out the banks and our beloved health service is much more important than that.

I am not so sure now. As a GP it is hard to look beyond the immediate – the morning surgery stretches ahead and there is little else beyond the patients that I will see or talk to on the phone. To think innovation, strategy or 'forward view' we need thinking time and get off this conveyor belt.

We are asked by the powers that be to be forward thinking and ingenious, while ensuring that we are clinically available for all of our patients 24/7. Coupled with rising list sizes and difficulty in recruiting it is a near impossible ask.

As Labour crowned their new king amid a mixture of jubilation and despair, there was doom and gloom in our house. My parents signed me up with the Labour party when I was 16 and through the mechanism of inertia rather than true devotion I have remained a member ever since.

Whether or not you agree with any of Jeremy Corbyn’s policies, the fact remains that if he is unelectable to the masses then he is unelectable and our incumbent health secretary will have a free mandate to push forward all the unpalatable health policies that GPs, hospital doctors, nurses and other NHS staff dread.

'They said the Titanic would not sink and look what happened Mum,' my eldest breaks through my musings in the car as we make a dash towards school.

'Hmm...' I say absentmindedly.

'And you said that the iPhone would never be big, and boy how wrong were you? Even Grandad said yesterday that he wants an iPhone 7 and I told him he would have to go to Cupertino in California to see the prototype as it's not even out yet. You are not good at predictions Mum,' he finishes sombrely.

Indeed. The NHS is a sinking ship – could Aneurin Bevan have predicted that?

  • Dr Aziz is a GP partner in Bristol

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