Harry Hill: “Listen to the doctors and nurses”

Doctor turned funnyman Harry Hill joins the Big Issue debate on the future of the NHS

The future of the NHS is dominating much thought just now. And following The Big Issue call to investigate radical overhauls to protect our cherished service Harry Hill has joined the chorus calling for a brighter future.

The comedian, real name Matthew Hall, was a doctor before becoming a national treasure. He told The Big Issue that in order fix the NHS we should all listen to frontline healthcare professionals.

“When I was a doctor it felt like the NHS was its lowest point – maybe it’s got lower,” Hill said, recalling the 100 hour weeks he used to work. “But honestly, I think the answer is to listen to doctors and nurses who work in the health service.

The health service has always been run on the goodwill of young men and women who work very long hours

“Jeremy Hunt – if you lose the confidence of the doctors then you’re screwed because the whole health service has always been run on the goodwill of young men and women who work very long hours. If you lose the doctors, if your relationship breaks down with the people who are providing the health care, it’s not going to last five minutes.”

Hill/Hall trained in neurosurgery and worked at Doncaster Royal Infirmary in the 1980s. He added: “If you want good people to go into medicine you have to appreciate them. That doesn’t mean necessarily pay them more, listen to them because they have the answers.

“When I was a doctor, doctors were held in quite high esteem but that’s been eroded.“When I was a doctor, doctors were held in quite high esteem but that’s been eroded. People who go into medicine have lots of options, they don’t have to do it. They can go and be lawyers or vets or dentists. Most of the time they’re people who are doing it because they want to. Doctors don’t really have any other agenda than treating people and getting people better. There’s nothing suspicious about their motives.”

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