UK’s NHS, “Tax the Rich!” and Unexpected Consequences

I love it when politicians “fix” a problem and create 2 more. NHS waiting lists surge due to pensions row.

While I’m not clear on the details, the issue revolves around tax increases, and NHS pension payments. The result is that doctors who work for The National Health Service are refusing overtime. Some are considering getting out of NHS/taking early retirement. (The problem hits “senior doctors.”)

Consultants who earn more than £110,000 a year faced new limits on how much they could contribute to their pension from 2016. Complex rules mean the charges can be unpredictable if they go over the allowance.

But those near the threshold have few options to avoid the impact, other than reducing their hours, quitting the NHS pension scheme or taking early retirement.

One anesthetist essentially worked every other Saturday in 2018 to help with the backlog of surgery. This year, he can’t afford to, so the backlog of surgery at that hospital is increasing.

Why is all this happening? Because it isn’t fair if doctors work and save to have a retirement that is “above what we consider to be OK.”

Why does this interest me? Because I didn’t beg and plead with Mr. Government Man to allow me to retire. I retired when I could. (Early enough to do the things my health won’t let me do today.) But the government hates that. I didn’t ask permission. I didn’t turn my life over to them to control. But if you’re a doctor working in that place where Great Britain used to be, you don’t have any choice. They will grind you down. But you do have a choice about paying too much in tax.

My guess is that the next step the .gov in the UK takes is to mandate overtime. You don’t have a choice. You will work when we tell you to work. And pay any tax that creates. At that point, I expect a raft of “senior doctors” to retire (basically with a “Fuck You, I’m outta here,” goodbye.)