Zara Aziz: In post-Brexit Britain we must stand united as a profession

'It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. It was the season of Light, it was the season Darkness.'

In the year that we saw great unity and hope amongst people, we also saw fundamental and profound disagreements on so many fronts – a culmination of which was the Brexit last week.

In my own family, like so many others, where we had always agreed on politics and NHS, we struggled to find common ground on the EU referendum.

As I stood in the polling booth I paused as I felt a palpable weight of responsibility on my shoulders. Somehow it felt different to the mayoral election that I had voted in only a few weeks before or even the general election of last year.

Many studies have looked at why we vote the way we do – we are contrary creatures but our social factors appear to be the most influential.

The reality is that whether we voted for remain or leave, many of us stand united in our disaffection with what this government has done. It has damaged so many of our public services particularly the NHS - the way that it has handled the junior doctor contract has been abysmal and cuts to social care, mental health, sexual health and drug misuse services have become all too obvious.

A government that contrived to divide the profession and create disunity and mistrust between patients and doctors, in the end fell victim to divisions of its own.

I suspect that we will need nerves of steel for what's to come in the weeks and months ahead, not the least of which are rapidly disappearing promises by the victorous Brexiteers. In a post-Brexit Britain we could do well to stay united both as a profession and a nation. But this is a lesson I would rather have learnt from the history books.

  • Dr Aziz is a GP in Bristol

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