Government must win over doctors to changes to NHSBMJ 2007; 334 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.39139.678704.DB (Published 01 March 2007) Cite this as: BMJ 2007;334:446
All rapid responses
There is no doubt that the organisation of service delivery within
the NHS needs to evolve, and rapidly so, given the epidemiological and
economic context. There is equally no doubt as to the need for all actors
within the health care delivery system to get actively involved in the
process of change.
But it becomes worrisome to see an article titled "the government must win
over doctors". It would sound as if doctors have been identified as the
major obstacle to change within the NHS, which to my mind is far from the
That the UK government set out to catch up with the trend of spending
observed elsewhere in Europe cannot be blamed on doctors; rather two basic
points seem to be overlooked: firstly, it takes time for change to become
perceptible within a system. The demand for rapid results to show for the
money spent seems to have served as a trigger for tinkering incessantly
with the system without much respect for the "time factor".
Secondly, the desire to "catch up" with the other European countries may
not have been such a good idea in the first place. These same countries
are busy trying to find ways of reducing the size of their health care
There is no reason why doctors should be pointed at as being the black
sheep of the NHS; if indeed the system is to move forward, propagating the
blame game should be left behind. A win-win approach should be the gold
standard for this period.
Competing interests: No competing interests