David Penman, a gynecologist at the Medway Maritime Hospital in Kent has blasted the NHS authorities by saying that he is left to "twiddle his thumbs" since his hospital cannot afford to do more surgery.
"What do you do while you wait for the next person to turn up when there should be three in the gap between two patients? Sit and read the paper, drink coffee - while we're paid, when we could be seeing patients," Dr Penman said. "It's very distressing, and it's completely unnecessary as far as I can see. I'm sitting there ready, willing and able to see patients." He added that he has reached the limit and could perhaps quit the NHS if the situation does not improve. But the chief executive of the Medway NHS Trust said that there was plenty of work to do for clinicians. "All the staff are working very hard to reduce waiting times and waiting lists. We've been very successful at it over the last two or three years," said Andy Horne. "In gynaecology we are still having to run extra lists in order to make sure that we keep to those government targets." He added that if Penman had come to him, he could have found him some extra work.