Medicine and the Unfairness of Devolution on the English

I wrote last week about doctors – over 3000 of them so far – who have registered to leave the country due to the imposition of a new contract that will see them working longer hours for up to 30% pay cut. It will leave some – after paying for all the extra exams, memberships, parking, expensive meals at work (all that used to be paid for by the government) – with as little as £10 an hour, which is disgraceful.

Please do read the stories below; they make my blood boil, but one particular sentence left me seething yet again (bold and italics mine):

Holly Ni Raghallaigh, 29, a trainee urologist, is planning to go to Scotland (which, like Wales, will not impose the new contract). She has been pushed to the brink of bankruptcy by the cost of her training, and doesn’t feel able to take a pay cut. With five more years as a junior doctor, she doesn’t think she could afford to continue if her pay is reduced.

Now don’t get me wrong, I love the Irish, Welsh and Scottish people, but what really riles me, and what I’ve never really seen argued in the press, is the lengthening list of things that don’t apply to them; Scotland for example: tuition fees; prescriptions; certain aspects of welfare; etc, and now the new NHS contracts.

It goes without saying surely, that if they don’t have to apply these things then our government (and theirs too actually), have to find that money from somewhere, and obviously, it comes from the English, which seems inherently unfair. It’s like living in a large family house, with grown up adults living there, and each pays their weekly board, apart from a few other members who pay nothing.

If Scotland and the Welsh can manage their incomes so as not to apply these changes, why can’t the English? Or on the other hand, if the Scottish and Welsh contributed, perhaps these cuts wouldn’t have to be so severe.

I’m not saying for one minute that I truly understand how this all works, and I’m very happy for them that they aren’t subject to those things, but the outcome is that the English bear the cost for the rest of the country, and these are the sorts of things that cause divisions and resentment in ordinary people.

I’m a complete hypocrite of course, because believe me when I say that if I had the funds I would move to Scotland in a flash. Whatever you think about devolution, it always seems that they get the better deal, and they look after ordinary people’s interests a little better. There is of course corruption present as there will be anywhere, but I still think I’d fair better under their government than ours.

I never thought that I’d say such a thing, but more and more (like you perhaps dear reader), I just want to escape most days, and the unfairness of devolution is one of those reasons.

Read the doctors reasons for leaving the NHS:


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