The article is from the Sunday Times. The suggestion she makes is, in my opinion, deeply racist. It is to end the dependence of the NHS on those she thinks to be ‘foreigners’. One in seven NHS staff identify themselves as not being British at present. But since many who now use the NHS think that all those British people who come from ethnic minorities who work for it are foreign, and all too often demand not to be seen by them, what this really amounts to is nothing short of a racist dog whistle to remove anyone not white or with what might appear to be a non-British name from the NHS.

Harding’s platform for the leadership of the NHS is in that case not just racist, it will also put very large numbers of its staff at risk of very real discrimination in the course of their employment. That, of course, is illegal. And it is the inevitable consequence of what she is saying. The floodgates for litigation would open up, and wholly reasonably so.

What she actually says:

Harding, 53, would challenge the “prevailing orthodoxy” in government that it is better to import medical professionals from overseas and benefit from the investment of other countries because of the huge cost of training a doctor.

You’d think that someone who works in academia would be in favour of UK academia training more British workers….

12 thoughts on “Twatto!”

  1. “Yes of course the British healthcare system should be funded by third world taxpayers! If you believe otherwise you’re a racist bigot!”

    Because by plundering foreign-trained nurses and doctors that is what’s happening, at the expense of healthcare in the countries that did (and paid for) the training.

  2. This is the “dog whistle” argument. Someone says something which sounds innocuous but is in reality a coded message to the mob. The problem is that the dog whistle seems to be audible only by the far left

  3. Bloke in North Dorset

    Last time I checked it was the policy of the Philippine government to train nurses for export as the remittances they send far outweigh the cost.

  4. “One in seven NHS staff identify themselves as not being British at present. ”

    One of the weirdest sentences I’ve come across in a while..
    Soooo many wtf?!!’s with this one.

  5. I kept trying to make this point in the run-up to the Brexit vote, that it was unsustainable to base our healthcare system on strip-mining other countries of their healthcare workers. What’s the different between taking all of India’s cotton and taking all of India’s doctors? “Oh but we pay them” Yes, we paid them for the cotton as well. But the more fundamental point, how on earth is India or Nigeria going to build a healthcare system if we keep taking all their doctors and nurses? And they are very good doctors, my ENT surgeon is from Nigeria. But I was repeatedly accused of xenophobia/racism for pointing it out.

    But to me, it’s just 19th-century Empire imperialism through a different lense. We’ve gone from telling brown people to pick our suger so we white people can have all the nice benefits of a comfortable middle-class lifestyle to telling brown people to wipe out bottoms and ablate our nasopharyncal uvulal papilomas so we white people can have all the nice benefits of a comfortable middle-class lifestyle.

  6. “But the more fundamental point, how on earth is India or Nigeria going to build a healthcare system if we keep taking all their doctors and nurses?”

    Privatise medical training. For profit. And no student loan bullshit. Let people who want to be doctors figure out how to get the money together. If people fuck off to England, take those profits and create more medical schools.

    It’s not like there’s a shortage of candidates in the UK. Most courses are AAA qualifications, even though you give a mechanic a flowchart and they could do a GPs job. Skin infection? Antibiotics and cream. Still there? Different antibiotics. Still there? Referred to a specialist. Everyone knows you print money if you become a doctor. If you’re a bit rubbish at diagnosis, you still keep your job.

    Right now, we have a serious shortage because women study medicine, then go part time, and then maternity leave, and retire early. I have no problem with that choice, except there are limited places. Places should not be handed out by the state to people who aren’t going to use them.

  7. So, if so many people really are refusing to be seen by ‘foreign’ doctors in the NHS then that would mean either

    a) Most of the UK is racists.

    b) Most of the UK feels, from practical experience with them, that they’re not very good.

    And since the UK population are the customers of the NHS and the doctor-patient relationship involves a certain amount of personal intimacy, it would seem to me that there’s no justification for telling them ‘no, you have to see the doctor that makes you uncomfortable’ no matter which underlying reason.

  8. @ Agammamon:

    b) Most of the UK feels, from practical experience with them, that they’re not very good.

    As I’ve had quite a bit of experience with the NHS over the last few years, I agree they’re not very good. The sooner we get back to having all first-world doctors and nurses in our first-world country, the better.
    Given the prevalence of exam cheating throughout the Indian subcontinent and Africa, the government is putting the lives of British people at risk by importing medical staff.

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/apr/03/india-school-exam-season-cheating-mafia-

    https://www.thecorrespondent.pk/2021/03/27/collaborate-cheat-repeat-how-pakistani-students-are-acing-online-exams/

    https://guardian.ng/features/exam-malpractice-as-festering-gangrene-in-nigerian-schools/

  9. The problem is that the last time the geniuses in government expanded medical education back in the 2000s, because it’s the Curajus State, the NHS did not have enough places for the doctors who were trained up and many of them ended up going overseas.

    If the UK stopped importing workers and spent the money saved on increasing the human capital of those inside the country, productivity would rise. This applies to medics, but also to other parts of the workforce.

  10. It can be in the interests of everyone to have free movement of medical staff internationally. Staff who move to rich countries may send money home, but regardless of the wealth of the countries, broader experience is always valuable. Rather than stopping foreign staff coming here, we should encourage our graduates to spend a few years working abroad. If it seems that we are unfairly benefiting from foreign immigrants, we could subsidise our graduates for the foreign experience so that very poor countries can get staff.

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