Sunday, March 04, 2007

Doctor's Protest March

On Saturday 17th March there is an organised march in protest of the national shortfall of jobs for doctors at ST (Specialist Training) level orchestrated by the new application system 'Modernising Medical Careers'.

RemedyUK, the organiser of the march, is 'A movement of doctors which has lost complete confidence in the implementation of training reform and in employment strategy in the NHS.
We aim to reclaim strength in voice and in action which has been lacking in recent years.'

Their stated aims are:
  • Immediate independent review of NHS workforce planning in the next 2 years.
  • Removal of barriers for any doctor to apply for any ST post regardless of experience in the future.
  • Expansion of training post numbers.
Doctors and medical students intend to march from the Royal College of Physicians in St Andrew's Place, London, to the Royal College of Surgeons in Lincoln's Inn Fields between 11am - 12:30pm, wearing white coats and accompanied by a marching band.

There has been much debate about the system on sites such as Doctors.net and Facebook by medical students and doctors alike. There has also been confusion regarding the aim of the march - with some believing the march is about the way doctors apply for jobs (via MTAS, the Medical Training Application System), rather than being about the shortage of jobs for those entering Specialist Training.

You can read this article in Medical Student newspaper, written by a representative from RemedyUK that explains the problems - namely that for 28,000 doctors there are only 22,000 jobs, and with each doctor costing £250,000 to train, it represents a cost of £1.5 billion in wasted medical education, not to mention the personal issues for those involved.

This schematic from the MMC website shows the training routes for doctors. More information can be found here.

1 comment:

Denis Wilkins said...

I wish the march well in pulling back the excessess of over zealous educational reformers, from the DOH to the the Royal Colleges and the Associations.