As physicians, we are committed to protecting our patients from harm.
But in recent months I have been very concerned that as a general practitioner in mining I risk a broken contract.
It is not by true choice. Rather, it is what I – and many of my colleagues – have learned about the government's response to the pandemic and its impact on the country's health.
because mostNational health insuranceResources are still tied to this virus, so many other areas of healthcare have been put on hold.
And more than that, the damage the lockdown itself is doing to people is becoming increasingly apparent.
As physicians, we are committed to protecting our patients from harm, writes Dr. Ellie Cannon (pictured)
By following the party line, carrying on cheerfully and not criticizing the situation, I feel that we medical personnel are becoming accomplices in a very destructive operation.
I see it every day with my own eyes.
Patients with heart disease and advanced cervical or breast cancer that can be detected earlier by screening.
I have seen a dramatic drop in attendance at childhood vaccination clinics, and I shudder when I think of the risks these young people face from measles and less common but more deadly viruses and infections.
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Then there's suicide - the ultimate consequence of untreated mental health problems compounded by job losses, money worries and the isolation and misery of lockdown measures.
I feel compelled to speak up, so I wrote to Health Secretary Matt Hancock three weeks ago to express my concerns.
Writing to the Ministry of Health - the ultimate boss of GPs - is no ordinary business for GPs. I've never done this before but felt I should let them and their advisors know what I and other GPs saw.
I felt compelled to speak up, so I wrote three weeks ago to Matt Hancock, the Secretary of Health, expressing my concerns, Dr. Ellie Canon
Of course, the government follows "the science", as it claims. But only with the help of those on the front lines did researchers know what to investigate.
In my letter to Mr. Hancock provides the latest statistics showing that rates of heart disease are on the rise, that we fail to perform basic heart health checks, that child abuse injuries are on the rise, and the health of the elderly is declining.
Incidentally, both older and younger people also suffered more from anxiety and depression during the lockdown.
These are hard facts, and within a few days I managed to gather 65 colleagues - themselves influential GPs - to sign the letter. One of these was Sir Sam Everington, who was knighted for his services in primary care.
I shared our message on national TV and radio, received support from congressmen including Steve Baker, and our letter was shared thousands of times on social media. Finally I feel optimistic. I've even worked for the government myself for the past eight months, sharing posts about the importance of hand washing and mask wearing. I hope we are listened to.
what do you think?
Write to: DrEllie@mailonsunday.co.uk