Dr V. Wagner reports on the first ‘Meet the Doctors’ event held in Portsmouth on 23rd January 2016. Meet the Doctors can be found on Twitter and is described as ‘a grassroots movement of doctors in the UK raising public awareness of the Government’s imposition of a junior doctor contract which is #notfairnotsafe’.
Held on Saturday 23rd January in Portsmouth city centre, the event aimed to encourage local people to ask questions about the NHS and to find out more about why junior doctors feel they have no option but to go on strike in February. Over fifty people signed a petition to support their strike action, and several more engaged in lively – and sometimes controversial – debate about what the NHS means in all our lives, and whether health workers should or should not strike.
Local doctors have started the Great NHS Storybook, a collection of NHS stories from the perspectives of patients, the general public and NHS staff.
NHS Selfies were popular, like the one below, but also among the children, as parents were encouraged to post them on social media with the campaign hashtag #NHSSelfie.
The event stimulated debate and demonstrated the inclusive nature of our NHS, treating everyone regardless of colour or creed. The organisers hope to host another Meet the Doctors event soon.