Outspoken comedian Frankie Boyle has nailed, in his trademark cutting way, why it’s so important that we support junior doctors and don’t allow the Tory government to dismantle the NHS.
In a piece in The Guardian, the controversial comic explained the strange situation these young doctors find themselves in nowadays, joking that they spend the best part of two decades training to be doctors only for patients to tell them they’re wrong after twenty minutes on Google.
Now the Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt is trying to undermine them further by forcing them to work even longer hours and the weekend, which they believe will have a long term impact on both patient safety and the NHS.
Frankie clearly doesn’t think much of Hunt’s plans, mocking not only his popularity but also questioning his ability to make informed decisions on the health service.
Consider how desperate these doctors are: so desperate that they want to talk to Jeremy Hunt. Surely even Hunt’s wife would rather spend a sleepless 72 hours gazing into a cracked open ribcage than talk to him.
Hunt won’t speak to the doctors, even though doctors are the people who know how hospitals work. Hunt’s only other job was founding Hotcourses magazine: his areas of expertise are how to bulletpoint a list and make dog grooming look like a viable career change.
Boyle then went on to justify the strikers’ actions, saying ‘this is about safety, not pay’. He then wryly explains how it’s not strange that the doctors ‘[expect] to be paid a decent wage for a difficult and highly skilled job’, a desire which for bizarre reasons is now ‘considered selfish.’
He then goes on to say that Hunt’s actions make him seem like an unsubtle satirical breakdown of an incompetent health minister, adding that the MP ‘co-wrote a book about how to dismantle the NHS’.
We now have a government so far to the right that doctors can be seen as dangerous radicals
— Frankie Boyle (@frankieboyle) April 26, 2016
The pessimistic Scot then questioned Hunt’s basic humanity. He claimed:
Hunt doesn’t understand the need to pay doctors – he’s part of a ruling class that doesn’t understand that the desire to cut someone open and rearrange their internal organs can come from a desire to help others, and not just because of insanity caused by hereditary syphilis.
Meanwhile, Frankie blames the rising death rates not on ‘lazy doctors’ but instead on the government, who have gone so far as to ‘[start] making disabled people work on building sites’.
The comedian then criticised the plans to withdraw bursaries from student nurses, which in his words is ‘essentially asking them to pay to work, despite students being a vital part of the NHS’.
Finally, Frankie bemoaned the Government’s plans to privatise the NHS, saying: “With the rate the NHS is being privatised, it won’t be long before consultations will be done via Skype with a doctor in Bangalore.”
Whether you agree with the junior doctor’s strike or not, I think we can all agree that Jeremy Hunt has cocked this up royally!
More of a concept than a journalist, Tom Percival was forged in the bowels of Salford University from which he emerged grasping a Masters in journalism.
Since then his rise has been described by himself as ‘meteoric’ rising to the esteemed rank of Social Editor at UNILAD as well as working at the BBC, Manchester Evening News, and ITV.
He credits his success to three core techniques, name repetition, personality mirroring, and never breaking off a handshake.