Jeremy Hunt, the junior doctors will see you now – it’s time for your dose of reality

Aside Posted on Updated on

Junior doctors
Junior doctors march in London on 17 October: ‘they don’t have to be geniuses to see that the sums don’t add up.’ Photograph: Andrew Bennett/Demotix/Corbis

Today junior doctors start their strike ballot. How did it come to this? This pointless conflict over a trivial sum is another symptom of a government vanishing into realms of delusion and denial. Finding themselves unexpectedly unfettered, Cameron’s crew floats free to believe that whatever they say is true, whatever they wish will happen, and whatever they do will work like magic. The NHS is the hard rock on which their fantasies may founder.

Out of nowhere, Cameron’s manifesto suddenly promised “a seven-day NHS”, with no clue how to deliver it. Never mind that much of the NHS works 24/7 anyway, this was populist policy-making from the Lynton Crosby school of election winning, uninterested in practicality. Never mind that the figures showing higher weekend deaths were partly owing to higher weekend trauma.

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