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Light side: Adam Smith Institute, BBC reporting, Island getaway

Throwing stones in glass houses
Are you “mindgarglingly stupid”? Possibly so, for that’s the accusation levelled by Tim Worstall, senior fellow of renowned free market think tank The Adam Smith Institute, at calls to raise UK health spending as a slice of GDP to match other wealthy nations.

It’s not clear what it takes to become a senior fellow of the institute, but its own position on health services, as detailed in 2011, is more apparent.

Among other policies it advocates the break-up of the NHS, to be replaced with an insurance-funded system of private hospitals. In effect close to the notoriously inequitable United States model – the world’s most expensive.

Mindgargling indeed!

Beeb tells half the story
Lightside heard the alarm bells ring at HCSA HQ in July when the BBC came knocking with news of a “scoop” – a hospital consultant in the UK had amassed £375,000 overtime in a year.

Armed with this single eye-catching fact the Beeb whipped up a media storm-in-a-teacup against the entire profession, preferring not to focus on why some trusts are reliant on people working long hours, not least through staff vacancies.

Either way, the story was quickly eclipsed when news broke of troubled Kernow Clinical Commissioning Group’s – since paused – plan to spend an eye-watering £396,000 on a short-term “turnaround” specialist.

Do you ever get the feeling that you are in the wrong job?

And now for something completely different…
If you *are* feeling a little jaded, then here’s an opportunity – of sorts – to get away from it all for a while.

One fit and able clinician is being sought to take part in the next series of Channel 4’s The Island with Bear Grylls, where a group of people are dumped with nothing on a deserted isle.

No experience of being stranded on a remote archipelago with strangers is required, the producers tell us – and what’s more, “reasonable” pre-agreed loss of earnings would be covered (it’s not clear whether this extends to overtime…).

The lucky doctor, we are told, will be taking part in “Lord of the Flies meets Bear Grylls meets Darwin’s survival of the fittest.”

If this sounds like an attractive break from your day job you are urged to apply before Monday 15th August.

What could possibly go wrong…