NHS "unrecognisable" in a decade

The NHS will be "unrecognisable" by 2017, the next generation of doctors have predicted.

Sixty-one per cent of the 1,000 junior doctors surveyed by the British Medical Association (BMA) said they were "very concerned" about growing private sector involvement in the health service.

The research, published ahead of the association's junior members forum in Dundee today, also shows that more than half of young doctors believe job insecurity will force them out of the NHS.

"Doctors fear that current reforms are damaging the NHS beyond repair," Dr Andrew Thompson, chair of today's "going, going, gone?" themed conference, said today.

"We seem to be selling off the service to the highest bidder without considering the legacy for future generations of patients."

Commenting on the study, Dr Jo Hilborne, chairman of the BMA junior doctors committee, said that the results shed light on the "unprecedented pessimism" rife among medical staff.

Citing statistics that show 48 per cent of young doctors see themselves leaving the NHS in ten years time, Dr Hilborne explained: "Despite the fact that the UK remains short of fully trained medical staff, the future for many young doctors is looking pretty grim. The government's handling of training reforms, and workforce planning generally, has been shockingly bad.

"It's time for them to explain what's going to happen to the thousands of competent, dedicated, junior doctors who are currently staring into a career black hole. We will not stand by and let them be consigned to the scrap heap."

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