Doctors to be used to help Coalition to reduce the welfare state?

Pulse, the publication for general medical practitioners, talked of attempted influence by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to require GPs to play a role in the dismantling of the welfare state in the UK.

In a story last week it reported that the General Medical Council – which regulates doctors – is to consult on the idea of placing an obligation on doctors to encourage people with long-term illness into taking a job.

Getting people into work as opposed to being long-term unemployed is a good aim. The trouble is that the Coalition is cutting benefits, cutting support for unemployed people and increasing coercion on many vulnerable people in order to get them off the books of the DWP. The Coalition’s anti-welfare economic policies are of course also leading to increased unemployment and competition for jobs. As the Labour Party warned that they would.

Frightening people into low-paid or in fact non-existent jobs may help the Coalition’s plans to reduce the size of the state. In the end it will not improve the health of hundreds of thousands of people unfortunate enough to have fallen out of reasonably paid existence through no fault of their own. Requiring doctors to police the Coaltion attack on publicly funded benefits would be no way to treat the medical profession either.