Viewpoint: The phantom condition

I was going to make my annual comment on the GOS fee negotiations. However, given yet another imposition of a disgusting award by a government that clearly is set upon privatising eye health care along with other health sectors, I see little point. Suffice to say, until we follow the example of so many other sectors of the NHS and fight this stance taken by the government in the press and media, we will never get close to a settlement that reflects what we actually do for the NHS.

Mealy mouthed platitudes from health ministers no longer cut any ice with so many in our sector. We have a so-called fee negotiating committee, but year after year it cannot achieve anything because we have a government which does not even bother to pretend it negotiates. I remember being told by a mandarin within the department some 20 years ago that prior to a meeting with the optometry representatives to discuss GOS Fees, the office drew lots to see who got the honour of shouting ‘boo’ at the optometrists prior to watching them run from the room.

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