Intended for healthcare professionals


Bury the bill

BMJ 2011; 342 doi: (Published 26 June 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;342:d4050

Re Bury the Bill

I must admit to seeing the front cover of the BMJ of 2/7/11 and
wondering when it stopped being a scientific journal and became a
political paper.

There seem to be several truths that we are apt to forget -

1) No system designed by humans can ever be perfect.

2) As humans we will always try to improve systems in the attempt to make
them perfect (but will always fail - see 1, above).

3) All change brings loss. "Good" change just brings less loss and more

4) Humans will always criticise systems and proposed changes, because
systems are not perfect, and change cannot make them perfect. (Thus from 1
and 2 above -there will always be critics!)

It seems therefore that the best we can do is accept that there will
always be change. In fact we should welcome it, but try to maximise the
benefits and minimise the damage that is inevitable with any change.

So, quite rightly, the BMA, RCGP and Future Forum have had their say.
Now it is time to let the politicians do their job. And doctors should do

Competing interests: No competing interests

12 July 2011
Chris C Gunstone
Queens Hospital, Burton, DE13 0RB