Une certaine idée du corps médical

Screen Shot 2016-03-09 at 08.38.44Dalrymple writes that he has

always had a certain idea of the medical profession, and industrial action (by which, of course, is meant inaction) has never been a part of it.

Doctors should not refuse to work

except if the seriously unethical is demanded of them by their employers, or perhaps if they are paid starvation wages; and though various British governments in the past decades can be reproached with many things, they have never demanded the seriously unethical of British doctors nor paid them starvation wages.

Rent-seeker on the march

Rent-seeking is the idea here

The assurance that industrial action will not harm patients, is, says Dalrymple,

mystifying. What is it, then, that doctors could refrain from doing that would not harm patients, and whom would they harm by it instead? Surely everything a doctor does should be to the benefit of patients, either directly or indirectly; and if there is something that he does that is not for the benefit of patients, he is wasting his own time and the money of those who pay him.

Doctors, having had fat years, might become acquainted with slightly leaner ones.

The increased expenditure on the NHS, of which a considerable part found itself into the pockets of the doctors, was responsible in no small part for the financial mess in which we now find ourselves; it is not only necessary, but just, that they should now have to retrench. And even after this retrenchment, they will have more than a living wage.

When doctors strike, it

reinforces the impression that those who work in the public service are motivated more by the desire for private gain than by the desire to serve the public. Doctors are among the best-paid of all public servants, and quite a number of them have the opportunity to supplement their incomes by private work. No one likes to see his income decline, but there are some things that ought to be accepted and suffered in dignified silence.

Public service

will be undermined by the naked rent-seeking behaviour of doctors. Of course, this rent-seeking, which is bound to become more desperate and ferocious the more the economy, with few prospects of real growth, comes to be seen as a zero-sum game, will not be confined to the doctors.

Doctors who vote for industrial action enter

a downward spiral of public mistrust of their motives.

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