Unless you've been living under a rock, you'll know that the junior doctors are on strike today and tomorrow, in protest about the new contracts that will be enforced on them from September. I wrote about why they are striking back in October, which you can read here.
The main reasoning for the protests are that the contracts aren't fair on doctors, and the new NHS will not be as safe for patients. However, what about doctor safety?
A friend on Facebook posted these statistics, and kindly said that I could post them on my blog too:
- Roughly 1 in 3 doctors have depression at any one time
- 80% will suffer from a mental health problem during their careers
- Nearly 50% suffer burnout after only 2 years
- Life expectancy is 5 years shorter than the rest of the population
- Doctors are twice as likely to commit suicide, women doctors up to 4 times more likely to kill themselves
- 1 in 4 doctors who die whilst under GMC investigation committed suicide
- 2nd most likely profession to fall asleep at the wheel
- 80% of seniors set to retire early due to stress related illness
This then makes me question whether the new contracts will cause these problems to get even worse. More doctors may suffer with their mental health due to being stressed and over-worked, in a career where there already simply is not enough time to get everything done.
Will a 7 day NHS and longer working hours increase the number of doctors with mental health problems, or even dying due to suicide? I guess we'll just have to wait and see, if these contracts are enforced. Let's hope not, for the patients' and doctors' sake.
Overthinking steals the spotlight from happiness.