Doctors have expressed their resentment against the NHS proposal to allow nurses to perform routine, minor surgical procedures. Some doctors have stated the move as being equivalent to entrusting airhostesses with the responsibility of aircraft control. Furthermore, the British Medical Association (BMA) has been urged to alert the public that nurses are not qualified enough to conduct operations on patients. More than 130 doctors have indeed agreed that nurses should not be allowed to interfere in the surgeon's autonomy.
In addition to the protest, the health care providers have also provided suggestions regarding mass advertising programmes. 'For financial advice I don’t ask a bank teller, I ask an accountant. For legal advice I don’t ask a policeman, I ask a lawyer. For medical advice I choose to speak to a doctor,' read a suggestion hosted on the website Doctors.net.uk.
'I would not have anyone who is not medically qualified doing any sort of medical procedure on any member of my family. I want the doctors to do the doctoring and the nurses to do the nursing. Old-fashioned I may be, but would you let an airhostess fly the plane with your family in it? ,' wrote another doctor.
'Top grades at A-level, five years of university training, then a minimum of three years further practice. Make sure you take your advice from someone who has done their homework,' read another put up on the exclusive website for GPs and hospital consultants.
Although an efficient nurse may learn how to perform surgery for carpal tunnel syndrome, (a condition in which the wrist nerves get entangled), he/she would not be able to manage any complication related to the same. A lot of practical and professional training is being imparted before one can be qualified as a surgeon. It would therefore not be appropriate to allow a nurse to transform into a surgeon.
Government-introduced reforms now permit the so-called nurse practitioners to perform medical procedures such as invasive investigation of the stomach, minor surgery to remove benign moles, cysts and small lesions. Such procedures were previously conducted by junior doctors. Medical prescription is yet another area where nurses are involving themselves.
'Patients should have the right to be treated by a qualified doctor,' concluded Alan Russell, Deputy Chairman, Consultant Committee, BMA.