Retired GP criticises plan to bring health professionals out of retirement to tackle Coronavirus

A retired North East doctor has criticised the UK government’s suggestion that it may introduce ‘emergency registration’ of recently retired NHS health professionals to tackle Coronavirus.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced the government was looking into broader measures to ease the burden on the NHS.



At the time of writing, 85 people have tested positive for Coronavirus in the UK, with the first COVID-19 cases in the UK being treated at the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle upon Tyne back in January.

A retired GP who lives in Tyne and Wear said: “Amongst my friends who have recently retired there is a feeling of absolute horror.”

And it’s not just tackling the Coronavirus that the former health professional is worried about. “It’s the emotional cost that’s the biggest issue for most doctors, not the money. If you have a complaint hanging over you, that’s the worst thing for most doctors. If you’ve retired on the grounds that you can’t cope with the stress anymore, it’s hard to see how you would go back into a situation that’s even more stressful and difficult.”

The GP is not just worried about how to cope personally. “If there was a Coronavirus outbreak, the levels of stress on the health service will rise astronomically. The NHS is gruelling as it is without another epidemic on its hands, and I can’t see how it’s going to manage.”

Other parts of the UK government’s Coronavirus action plan include cancelling large public events and school closures.

One Comment

  1. I really can’t see many retired doctors or nurses wanting to return to work. I certainly wouldn’t.
    Another issue with this is the fact that on the whole, retired health care professionals are in the age bracket that is considered a high risk, why would you volunteer to put yourself in this position?
    Perhaps if the government of the last 10 years had been more supportive towards NHS staff instead of cutting services to the bone and alienating many of our foreign staff then they may be more accepting of the idea.

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