Medical Practitioners Union Conference 2/3/13

Campaigns Doctors
A quote from the MPU website – “A keynote conference for doctors and medical students was held by the MPU to construct a radical alternative to the flawed Health & Social Care Act. 50 doctors and medical students attended & several new members joined. Already discussions are underway for similar mini-conferences in Sheffield, Newcastle, Manchester and South East London.

The debates were lively and addressed important campaigning issues including:  how best to try and inform the public, the lessons from Lewisham, influencing the Labour Party and so on.  A conference report will follow later with feedback from the workshops and next steps to build MPU, support local and national campaigns and show that we do have an alternative, radical medical voice in the UK”
Some points as seen by me –
Individualisation rather than traditional values are taking over in medical education with new doctors qualifying with up to £40k debt which can lead to them seeking high earnings early in their careers.
It is cheaper to import doctors readily trained – resulting in more Ghanaian Doctors working in New York than Ghana.
A better approach would be the extended role of home grown nurses to take on many of the roles previously seen as medical.
In the troubled EEC countries the financial ‘rescue packages’ have involved banks buying hospitals.
Allyson Pollock needs more funding to continue exposing the advance of privatisation. She described how the NHS is becoming merely a funding stream; CCGs will become insurance pools leading to risk averse in patient selection.
An interesting point from the floor addressed the demographic time bomb – increasing life expectancy not being so many expanding numbers of elderly people as (inverse pyramid) fewer deaths in childhood meaning that there’s a column of younger people growing longer.
BMA came in for much criticism as the leadership appear to be more concerned to be part of the political class than fighting for the NHS e.g. at their AGM they did n’t follow a resolution to oppose the HSCB.
The integrated care workshop agreed that the key feature of integration is that it must work that way for the patient. Some GPs have been involved in public health initiatives e.g. healthy lives, which can be as simple as leading a walking group.
There are many dangers that integration could be used as excuses for privatisation and abolishing the purchaser/ provider split could be the best way to present this.
Many schemes to prevent hospital admissions were reported and whilst this can help improve quality of life, evidence of economic benefit is not convincing.
A heartening plenary final session involved many students reporting that it was inspiring to them to hear doctors speaking of their concerns for the health of the nation – an interesting comment on current medical education.