2024-01-22 18:02

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Government Intends Filling Doctor Vacancies With Under Qualified 'Physician Associates'

Warning: Many GP practices already using them instead of fully qualified doctors

*Public being asked to respond to Government public consultation by 2nd February 2024*

De-skilling of NHS medical staff in order to lower the wages bill, and to fill the huge number of medical vacancies within Hospitals and GP surgeries with under-qualified 'non-doctors' has now reached the stage that people are dying through inappropriate treatment and sometimes lack of treatment as a result.

The issue was raised in the House of Commons by MP Barbara Keeley (Worsley and Eccles South) raising one case of death of her constituent as a result of a Physician Associate replacement for a GP, is a harrowing example that can be seen from the MP's statement here

If after reading the MP's statement you aren't convinced that the use of the role of a Physician Associate is not a real doctor, but a cheap replacement; this comment on a Post Graduate Search Website, says it all:

"It's an Alternative Route into Medicine.

If you’re interested in all things anatomy and physiology but don’t think that being a doctor is the right fit for you, PA studies is a great alternative way to get into medicine.

It allows you to learn from a clinical perspective and spend time with patients without delving too deep into the nitty-gritty science of medicine."

image: BMA MAPS document and consultationThe British Medical Association (BMA) explains the role and their concerns:

'Medical Associate Professionals (MAPs) are a group of healthcare workers including Physician Associates (PAs), Anaesthesia Associates (AAs), and Surgical Care Practitioners (SCPs).

Unlike medical doctors who undertake more than 10 years of medical education and training to become GPs or consultant doctors, MAPs have only completed a two year postgraduate course.

They cannot work without supervision by a doctor. They cannot prescribe medication or request X-rays.
They are not the same as doctors in any way.'

The British Medical Association is so concerned, that it recently surveyed over 18,000 doctors about the fact that MAPS are being asked to do jobs beyond what should be expected from someone with only a two-year course.

The results showed that doctors have grave concerns about how the NHS is employing MAPs, and for the safety of patients.

Some high profile cases in the media have discussed deaths that have occurred from patients seen by MAPs working
in a capacity beyond their competence.

For public safety reasons, the British Medical Association (BMA) has called on the NHS to stop recruiting MAPs until a proper review of the role is made and limits to where and how they can work are in place.

The BMA says that the Government, however, has stated its intention to more than triple the number of MAPs working in the NHS by 2036/37 as part of the NHS long term workforce plan. They do not appear to be listening to doctors’ worries about patient safety or concerns that patients may be confused about MAPs, thinking they are being seen by a doctor when they are not. All patients deserve to know who is treating them and what qualifications they have.

The Government has initiated a public consultation entitled 'MAPs Core Capabilities Framework Consultation', in order to gauge public opinion, knowing of course that few members of the public are aware of the issues concerned, and written in a way as to put off people from responding.

However, in encouraging the public to respond to the government consultation, the BMA says in their press release:

'We are already seeing cases where doctors, including your local GPs, are being replaced by non- doctors.

It is vital that you respond to the Government and insist that these professions are not allowed to develop further without the proper scrutiny of the role and to develop limits on where and how they can work to keep patients safe.

This is your NHS, and your voice is important.'

The Public Consultation Document

The BMA has issued a guide to the consultation questionnaire, which is written in a way which causes confusion to the public in the way in which it is laid out with paragraphs of statements people are asked to agree or not agree, giving their reasons for doing so.

Following the BMA guide, makes it simple for people to respond, by explaining each question in the consultation document in clear english. It also offers guidance on the BMA's response and suggests using it in your own words and with your own views in response.

With the Government's plans to create a two-tier and 'dumbed down' NHS, by removing the medical expertise and trustworthy ness of this vital public service. and pushing people towards private healthcare providers; the replacement of doctors with MAPs is a major threat to the NHS and a key component of the Government's aims of a two-tier healthcare system.

The NHS belongs to the citizens of the UK, and as such it is up to us to save it from the political games being played by both major parties, and this latest attempt to to de-skill medical practices and hospitals; must be stopped!

Please complete the Government's public consultation by downloading the BMA document pictured above, and filling in the questionnaire consultation document which can be accessed from the downloaded document.

Deadline: mid-day 2nd February 2024

Source: BMA/ postgraduatesearch.com



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