8 years of suffering under Barack Obama

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Teri Carter's Library

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3C54DC7D00000578-4140672-Barack_Obama_waves_as_he_boards_Marine_One_and_departs_the_Capit-a-77_1484945371469 Photo credit: The Associated Press

The sentence I hear most from well-meaning, conservative friends since President Trump’s election is this: “We suffered 8 years under Barack Obama.”

Fair enough. Let’s take a look.

The day Obama took office, the Dow closed at 7,949 points. Eight years later, the Dow had almost tripled.

General Motors and Chrysler were on the brink of bankruptcy, with Ford not far behind, and their failure, along with their supply chains, would have meant the loss of millions of jobs. Obama pushed through a controversial, $8o billion bailout to save the car industry. The U.S. car industry survived, started making money again, and the entire $80 billion was paid back, with interest.

While we remain vulnerable to lone-wolf attacks, no foreign terrorist organization has successfully executed a mass attack here since 9/11.

Obama ordered the raid that killed Osama Bin Laden.

He drew down the number…

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Thoughts on Jeremy Hunt’s imposition of new Junior Doctor contract

Dr Hannah Mitchell a british trained junior doctor now working in Africa spoke out strongly against the imposition of the Junior Doctors’ Contract. This was of particular interest in that her father was a senior minister in the coalition government. He was also a cabinet colleague of Mr Hunt.

It was interesting to read the views of a current junior doctor working abroad and looking at the NHS and her future. My perspective is very different. She is looking to her future; I cannot but look back to the NHS that it has been  my privelege to serve in over forty years.

Here is the article and these were my immediate thoughts:
Well I never did. This is all very sad. The NHS is a strange old beast. Far from perfect. But imagine how an insurance system as in America feels. You have arthritis with drugs costing a thousand pounds a month. They will cover you for new illnesses but not for conditions you already have. 36,000,000 people in the USA are not covered. I fear for myself and even more for many worse off than me as we in increasing numbers grow old. What will be the outlook for our children and grandchildren should they be so stupid as to contract a serious longterm illness.When I was a junior between the ages of 21-30 I frequently worked over a hundred hours a week. With the best of intentions potentially dangerous to myself and others. BUT I loved the job, was energised and inspired by the NHS , protected and nurtured by the teams I worked for and with. A real feeling of working together with the nurses, physios, midwives etc. Then even when the hours were very long ( working sometimes 80 hours at a stretch with a further ten hours after the Monday evening and night off) we all felt totally committed. All the clinical teams felt they were working together with the administration there to aid them fulfill their clinical work. Now often it seems as though the Doctors or Nurses feel that they are pawns controlled by management. This is in my view the explanation for disasters such as mid Staffs. Thirty years ago the clinical staff would not have allowed it to happen. Now they feel powerless. All the teams have been broken down. It is clear talking to junior doctors they are absolutely desperate and totally demoralised. I fear for the English NHS. Many of the doctors will go abroad. Those abroad in Australia and New Zealand, who would have spent three or four years there, will be unlikely to return. Many others in my view will elect to take their skills to Scotland and Wales. There there is agreement between employers and their work force. Who would choose to work where you are dragooned over somewhere you can work in harmony with your employer?

All I can say is I was very lucky and privileged to have such a fantastic life in medicine here in Okehampton. No choice I could have made would have been better for me. The difference is that thirty years ago a position in General Practice in Devon would attract nearly a hundred applicants, now astonishingly it would be lucky to attract four or five. In much of England there are no applicants.
I remember an old friend and colleague of mine Dr Petr Konyn, a lawyer from Holland, saying to me thirty years ago; ” you are so lucky Tom, always remember you are a member of an honoured profession”. No more it seems!