It has been said surgeons are overpaid. This is ludicrous, in the light of the earnings in the entertainment industry, the sporting industry, spec builders and entrepreneurs. Today stress is greater generally than 20 years ago. Never more so, it seems, than in the medical sphere, with spurious targets, a public more prone to self abuse in one form or another, new and more virulent diseases, and government intervention creating constant change from the tried and trusted procedures of the past.
Standing on the sidelines of hospital treatment in Northern Ireland, the overall quality of skill, consideration and compassion, given generously by hospital staff has been of the highest, indeed exceptional. That is not to say that I have been pleased with the overall care. Waiting time has gone through the roof. In my case, 9 times longer than it would have been in Scotland, with the result that the surgery had to be considerably more severe than it might have been. Sitting in waiting areas, I observed the constant, weekly pressures the surgeons and staff were under, across the board. My reading of it is that the medical profession is generally fair, but under extreme financial pressure and staff shortages.
Some professions suffer more stress than others. Surgery and medicine are high on the list because they have to deal with emotion as well as health. Most doctors today are put under such constant stress that they become bone weary. Either the government is lying when it says it is increasing annual funding, year on year, ahead of inflation; or there is mismanagement of those increased funds, and/or that disease is overwhelming the DHSS. Within my circle I see no sign of an increase in illness. Don’t let us kill off the doctors and medical staff, giving them heart attacks. Assess their income, and the winnings a golfer can accrue with only 4 rounds of golf, and decide who is doing more for society. We are being hoodwinked into paying extortionate sums for our pleasures at the expense of essentials. There is only so much money to go round and next year there will be a lot less.