Gordon Brewer (c) penguinplacepost.wordpress.com
Following on quickly from the question in the title of my earlier piece today (15.1.17):
‘As Theresa May scapegoats English GP’s will Scotland’s Royal College of General Practitioners and the BMA Scotland Branch now begin to show some respect for the Scottish Government?’
I was able to check the answer only hours later as BMA Scotland Chair, Peter Bennie, appeared on Sunday Politics with Gordon Brewer. Gordon did introduce the debate to follow with:
After weeks of headlines detailing problems in NHS England, what is the state of the NHS in Scotland?
‘Problems’ is put it a bit mildly but, anyway, Gordon left the question hanging, we never got an answer, and asked Bennie the question he really wanted to be asked about funding stagnating. So, without presenting any statistics or empirical evidence whatsoever, Bennie launched into an extended list of claims of ‘staff stretched to breaking point’ and of unfilled vacancies contributing to that situation. Over the piece, we heard that phrase over and over (ten times?) without once being offered any indication of research demonstrating it to be true and not just anecdote from a trades union leader. Remember, despite the respect offered to him by people like Brewer, Bennie is no more to be trusted as impartial than the leaders of UNITE or of the RMT.
Brewer made no attempt to introduce the abundant evidence of superiority in the operation of NHS Scotland nor of the many pieces of research demonstrating it (see my earlier piece). He, astonishingly, given his opening comment, did not return to the horror stories emerging from NHS England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Instead Bennie was allowed, un-contradicted, to insist GP jobs needed to be made more attractive or they’ll all go abroad. What and give up on Scotland’s golf courses? Aye right. Also, he was able to say ‘the majority of staff are working way beyond what they ought to be doing’ without, again, being able to refer to any reliable source of the statement’s accuracy. Would the leaders of UNITE or the RMT be treated so respectfully? I doubt it.
A short debate between a Tory and SNP MSP followed. The SNP MSP pointed out that they had already invested an extra £500 million over inflation but this pretty important figure was not put to the BMA guy to challenge him in any way. The Tory just ignored it and Gordon treated him kindly as if he was a member of a completely different party from Theresa May. The Tory also repeated the scurrilous BBC tale of five women turned away from the Southern General and sent 7 miles away to the RAH. OMG, what a scandal! They think they have it tough in England?
I hope you’re grateful that I watched this for you!
I skipped by the Andrew Neil bit of course, keeping firm control of my squirming guts as he flashed by.