An investigation held by the Pulse magazine has found that the shortage of doctors and long working hours are severely affecting the health of patients. The doctors are not only made to work longer but are also paid meagerly.
It has been informed that a doctor is paid between £50 and £120 for out-of-hours shift. It has further come to light that only local GPs are allowed to work out of hours. The overload of work could be dangerous for the patients as the tiredness a doctor is vulnerable to give fatal shots to patients.
Because of meager pay, many GPs say no to out-of-hours work. To meet the shortage of the doctors, agency Harmoni runs the 25% of the out-of-hours services in Suffolk. It has been reported that about 29% of the shifts at NHS Great Yarmouth and Waveney were left unfilled last September.
The Chief Executive of Harmoni, Andrew Gardner, was reported as saying, "The key to providing first class out-of-hours services is assessing whether the demand of patients is being met through good overall performance against national standards, not through the number of unfilled vacancies".
The Editor of the magazine Plus, Richard Hoey, has blamed insufficient money for hampering the out-of-hours services. GPs put efforts to improve the health of the patients. Because of the inadequate money, many GPs say no to the out-of-hours shift. Therefore, nurses are made to take up the role so that the demands and need of the patients could be met with.
It has been informed by the magazine that during the survey, the Primary care trusts and providers didn't confirm of any disturbance caused to the care of patients because of shortage of doctors. However, some did say that filling the out-of-hours shift posed problems as GPs were not willing to work.