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Doctors on the ropes

BMJ 2001; 322 doi: (Published 31 March 2001) Cite this as: BMJ 2001;322:805

This article has a correction. Please see:

  1. Richard Hayward, consultant neurosurgeon
  1. Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Trust

    Apart from some well publicised cases, public opinion of doctors as individuals seems to be holding up well at a time when the medical profession as a whole is increasingly portrayed as paternalistic, out of control, and self serving (BMJ 2001;322:694). There have been gleeful media reports of doctors in uproar over General Medical Council recommendations for reform, cynicism over clinical governance, and passionate resistance to any restrictions on doctors' rights to private practice.

    By getting angry on behalf of our patients, our status as a profession is assured

    But there is more than a measure of truth in the charges. Why did it have to be the audit commission that lambasted hospitals for being filthy and unhygienic? Why did it have to be a government initiative that targeted the excessive numbers of patients on waiting lists? Why did it take so long for the cancer specialists on Strathclyde to go public about the unacceptable waiting times for radiotherapy in that region? How many letters to MPs are from doctors …

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