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We need more doctors to lead from the front

Published 19/01/2016

In your article "Top medics slam health chiefs" (News, January 12), you quote the letter from Mr Nolan and Dr McElhenny to The Times. In this letter, they are scathing about healthcare management, using terms such as "aggressive" and "incompetent".

It is recognised that health services are best managed by doctors, who understand the needs of their patients. It is incumbent on senior doctors to step up to the plate and not abandon the health service for more lucrative pastures.

Only because of the training provided and funded by the health service are doctors able to sell services in the private sector. The large numbers of doctors working in the many private clinics which have sprung up is one of the factors leading to long waiting lists.

In fairness, it should be pointed out that there are many senior doctors who contribute greatly to the health service in both clinical and leadership roles.

The trust which formerly employed Dr McElhenny and Mr Nolan is now medically led and I have observed a significant change in the performance of this organisation with a dramatic reduction in long A&E delays among other improvements. Doctors in management are a good thing.

We need more doctors in health leadership. Perhaps Mr Nolan and Dr McElhenny could return to the health service and put their skills to use reforming the management of which they are so critical.


Clinical director and practising GP

Comber Health Centre

Belfast Telegraph

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