As the unemployment numbers were reported at 2.5 million today, the first time is it has breached this since 1994 – the Local Medical Committees announce that the new Med3 so called “fit note” is too easy to forge.
Though you might think these two facts are entirely unrelated, upon reading them I felt it necessary to ask whether there is still some pull against changing the way we view employment, work and health. But there is also a question of how GPs adapt to new methods. Ideally the fit note would be electronic, as was originally planned. But the proposals to scale back NHS IT might ultimately derail or dilute this. I would feel frustrated that something that would be easy to email to both an employer and patient, is not emailable but on the other hand to push against a good idea because of a fear of forgery…
Though the election battleaxes extoll the virtues of more jobs, a more mobile economy and better health. No one is quite aware of how intricately these work together – in each of the Parties manifestos health and work were segregated as two very unrelated things.
Labour talk about “fairness and work incentives”, Tories say “let’s get britain working again” and the Lib Dems propose a trade off of £3.1 billion in public spending for 100 000 jobs.
Somewhere the point was missed about the health burden of the unemployed and the multi-faceted nature of work. Not meaning to be pedantic but there is much more to work than a job. That joined-upness fell apart when it came to crunch time in the budgetary musings.
It is not by some mysterious coincidence that health inequalities run parallel to employment inequalities.