J. Meirion

Doctor who? | 27 June 2019

Last October, Phil Coleman, a journalist on the Carlisle-based News & Star, went to cover the trial of Zholia Alemi, a 56-year-old consultant psychiatrist who was accused of forging the will of an 84-year-old dementia patient in an attempt to inherit her £1.3 million estate. During the trial, Phil realised this complex scam could not

Wanted: UK doctors

For years, Britain has been failing to train enough doctors and has been importing them instead. This has been a well-known and much lamented fact, raising several ethical issues. Is it right for us to rob developing countries of their much-needed medics? Simon Stevens, the head of the NHS, said at the Spectator’s health summit

Losing patients

For weeks now, we have been reading about a crisis in A&E — a symptom, we’re told, of a funding crisis in the National Health Service more generally. Since I started working for the NHS almost 45 years ago, this has been a familiar theme: the system is creaking, but a bit more tax money

The GPs’ revenge

On 31 March, I walked out of the Royal Marsden Hospital in London for the last time, after 28 years as a consultant cancer surgeon. At the age of almost 69, I had given six months’ notice of my wish to resign my contract by Easter, but to remain on staff in order to complete

The wrong way to fix the NHS

Jeremy Hunt, the Health Secretary, is a decent and well-meaning man. He’s genuinely excited about the new, radical reforms planned for the NHS which he announced last weekend. I have been told that Hunt and his old friend David Cameron see this restructuring of the NHS as the next great step, as significant and successful

How NHS health tourism is costing us billions: a surgeon’s story

When David Cameron proposed toughening the rules that govern foreign nationals being treated for free by the National Health Service, he faced — as one might expect — a barrage of criticism. The Prime Minister was accused of tilting at windmills. The threat exists only in the minds of xenophobes, said his critics. The actual levels of

Free riding foreigners: the next NHS scandal

A fundamental and enduring principle of the NHS is that it is ‘free at the point of use’. All major political parties subscribe to this mantra and none dare challenge it. Herein lies the problem. The consequence of such altruism — all at the UK taxpayer’s expense — is health tourism and abuse of the