Saturday 27 November 2010


Jackie Baillie, Labour's health spokeswoman, has launched an attack on NHS Scotland for the number of people it employs currently earning more than the First Minister.

Some 800 people in Scotland’s Health Service receive more than the £140,000 which Alex Salmond is paid, and there are more than 3000 whose income is above the £100,000 mark.

I agree with her. It is absolutely ridiculous that at any time we have managers and consultants whose pay is so out of touch with that of the people that they serve and who work under them.

Jackie proposed a massive reduction in the number of these highly remunerated managers and administrators. Although she continued with a suggestion to reduce the salaries of other high earners, she didn’t specify who she meant by that. Would it be doctors and consultants?

She quite rightly stated that it was wrong to continue to pay so many people such high salaries when health boards across Scotland are expecting to have to make over 4000 people redundant in the next year, including nurses and midwives.

Ms Baillie also criticised the fact that there are too many health boards in the country. As with police, the management and administrative functions could be shared over far wider areas with massive savings. Fewer boards, fewer chief executives, managers and administrators: all sounds sensible to me

It may seem populist to say that we need to be reigning in money spent on non essentials, and concentrating every halfpenny on frontline patient care, but it is also utterly true, and that’s why I am delighted to hear Jackie Baillie say it so clearly.

But it is also true that the 22 health boards did not spring up like magic mushrooms over the last few years since Labour left power, nor did the contracts that were signed off by the McConnell administration for silly money for doctors and consultants. The GP contracts which were organised in England and simply adopted here reduced doctors’ hours and responsibilities and bumped up money. Mad.

But Ms Baillie will doubtless be aware that many of these highly paid people have watertight contracts they may take some moving!

However, I am to see that Jackie will now want to work in concert with the government to bring forward as many sensible changes to NHS Scotland as possible.

Would it be too much to hope for that Labour will also be co-operating on other areas where management and administration functions could be rationalised, boards amalgamated, and the resultant savings invested in front line services that affect you and me.

Mind you, Jackie does seem to be calling for the government to implement the Tories cuts for them. Does her ... ha ha ha... “boss”... know about that?


  1. Working for the NHS is definitely one of those jobs where you are working 'for the people.' To accept a huge pay packet for such work seems completely disgusting to me. While it's commendable work, people should not have monetary incentive to help their fellow man. Of course, it's indicative of the problems that we face in late-stage capitalism that expenditure is not medical, but administrative. Minimal administration should be needed for saving lives. People should be able to trust doctors, not see them as trying to make a quick buck, a Ferrari and hiding behind a mass of paperwork to prevent themselves being sued. That trust people should have in doctors has been destroyed by American lawsuit society.

  2. I was tempted to criticise that fat slug Baillie for the massive increase in doctors wages during the Labour time in charge but sadly it's still the same under Oily Al..

  3. I HATE Baille ... I know that I constantly criticise others for not being more constructive on here ... but give me a break I beg ... this women is a bleeting fucking tragedy of a repesentative of the people of Scotland.

  4. Tris

    After the sovereignty of the Scottish people is torn from the hands of the snp and given back to the Scottish Labour party(through the next democratic Elections)by the scottish peoples

    Jackie Baillie will be in the position do to something about excessive pay in NHS Scotland.


    Haters gotta hate

  5. CON 40%, LAB 40%, LDEM 9%

    Crush em! Smash em! squeeze them out of existence
    Lying bastards deserve no less.

    I mean there are lies and there are lies within the boundaries of normal political bullshit.
    But Cleggy (in pursuit of personal power and vanity)
    took it to a lower level than ever before they deserve to be squashed as an example to them and all political parties.

    as Margaret once said

    The reason why specific promises of this kind should be honoured does not depend on a consent principle, but on the ground that they were promises and might have influenced someone's vote.

  6. Tris,

    I wonder how many of those receiving salaries of £100,000 are highly skilled surgeons who have spend years and years in training.

    Having spent a deal of time in hospitals I would rather be treated by a highly paid surgeon than someone on the minimum wage.

    As far as hospital management is concerned what qualities and training justifies paying some-one the enormous sums of money involved?

    PS: You should have put a health warning before posting certain photos.

  7. lararuszine:

    I've never bought into the idea that people who work in some caring profession should necessarily be happy to work for peanuts.

    Clearly, folk who study to learn and work hard to maintain life saving skills have the right to expect reasonable recompense.

    Of course many love what they do and would do, indeed have done, it for nothing (VSO and such) but public service doesn't necessarily demand that one go without, but I certainly agree that restraint against out and out greed is important.

    I think that admin bill could be cut massively, especially now that medics often make their own appointments and communications have been revolutionized by internet.

    I once read about a chief exec of a Health bard whose remuneration packag4 included a Rolls Royce for himself and a smaller car for his wife, who as far as i could work out, didn't work for the board.

    That kind of thing leaves me speechless, but as always their answer is "I could get that kind of money in the private sector". To which my reply would ALWAYS be ..."buh bye".

  8. Nothing like the idiotic restructuring for doctors that the labour Party did in England and the Scottish Labour (and liberal) government adopted, because they were too pathetic to find another way Monty.

  9. Perhaps Dean, you would care to elaborate as to why you think so little of Ms Baillie. (Perhaps without the F words, coz there are ladies reading this, most specifically my mum.)


  10. I had to have a little lie down there Niko... I never thought I’d live to see the day when you were quoting Mrs Thatcher at me. Mind you of course I imagine that she lied like the best of them too.

    I completely agree with you about Clegg. I used to have a bit of time for him, but he has dropped like a stone. Principles? What principles? Seems to be his motto. He sold everything out for a seat at the cabinet table and a title.

    I hope his party is obliterated too.

    I see that John Minor was calling for the two parties to hook up on a permanent basis in which case Condem does seem to be an appropriate name for the new party. But probably they will just be called the Conservative and Unionist Party.

    From what I can see they are even less popular in Scotland than they are in England, so it may be that they will halve or even third their elected membership of OUR parliament.

    Which does seem to leave you guys in a bit of a quandary should you make it into government... oh sorry, you’ll be wanting to revert to ‘executive’, in May. If there are only 5 of them and you manage to get yourself 45 seats, where on earth are you going to get the other 15 members?

  11. Yeah John, I know that's perfectly true, and I'd rather have the surgeons paid a bit extra so that they didn't all disappear off to America, Canada, Australia and anywhere else that they wouldn’t have to learn any foreign language.

    French doctors are paid around half of what English ones are, and for a while there was a rush for them to go over to England to work, but from what I read it was a short lived thing. The target culture and the lack of money for equipment and medicines (because it was all going on wages) made their professional lives hell. And of course the food was inedible and the wine undrinkable!! What the hell were they going to do with all the money they made? O là là!

    We are all snowed in here. No buses appear to be running, the car is snowed in and the roads and pavements are like ice rinks. As usual, an inch or two of snow and we are shut down.

    I’m off out to feed the birds.

    Bon week-end!

  12. Bailey needs to loose serious amounts of fat and take elocution lessons, and crawl out from under the blanket of hypocrisy knitted by Labour spin doctors. She has all the credibility of a dead woodworm in a brick. Her defence of wee Wendy was disgraceful as was her invention of a new definition for theft. "IMPERMISSABLE."

  13. She's a health hazard mind you the whole Labour part is.

    Time to put the trunks on

    About 18-20ins here and traffic moving ok.

  14. He he Keyboard... you've got a lovely way with words.

    You no like her much then?

  15. I just looked at this one.

    They are skating, but no snow anywhere and the traffic is flowing freely unlike in Dundee where everything has come to a standstill. Well, it's only November.

  16. A country that charges their last administrators in court, sticks two fingers up at the bankers oh to be a small independent country with a real democracy.

  17. It will come CH. We can't take much more of this incompetence... and I mean from both, or all three, which ever way you look at it, London parties.

  18. Baillie of the Labour rump will:

    1. Ignore local government corruption, especially Labour corruption in her backyard

    2. Has a face that makes me want to cry

    3. Is a hypocritical two-faced popinjay [cleaner word for your old woman Tris ;)]

    4. Is a representative of the only major Party refusing to protect health spending [Tory, LibDem, SNP all are ringfencing our health budgets]... but not zanulabour.

    5. This sums it all up: "Scottish Labour: underfunded, crap, lazy, or just Hypocrites?"

  19. LOL Dean... Ballie, rump ... very clever.

    Apart from the fact that her face makes you want to cry, which is a tad on the subjective side, I can't really disagree with you

    Brillian clip. Suddenly, like they never planned for this, they are in opposition, and being shafted each week by Alex... so the opposition needs more money... well duh.