Wednesday, May 02, 2007

MTAS – as powerful as a ZX Spectrum?

This year every single junior doctor in the country has been forced by the government to apply for their August job via a centralised computerized system called MTAS aka Medical Training Application Service. The old system of local applications was not perfect but it is starting to look like a veritable utopia compared to MTAS.

MTAS is the side arm of MMC (Modernising Medical Careers), the rushed corrupt reform of medical training that aims to enslave the medical profession by creating a super size cohort of demoralized disempowered non consultant grade doctors; in reality MMC will simply force a lot of talented folk abroad or into the city, while rogering patient care.

The MTAS process started with incessant computer crashing, lost applications and the leaking of marking schemes; several consultant groups even withdrew from the interviews because they had no faith in the selection process; this led angry junior doctors to march on the streets of London to protest against this shambolic reform.

The under pressure Patricia Hewitt was forced to launch an ‘independent review’ into the shambles, this sham review panel was made up of the same malingering cronies who had dreamt up the festering MTAS/MMC initially; even they had to agree to abandon the tree hugging short listing process, but bizarrely the amended system is even more unfair than the original as the admittedly failed short listing is still relied upon. Political pressure from No10 prevented a complete scrapping of the system and a return to the standard tried and tested local process. Various ministers, Patricia Hewitt and Lord Hunt in particular, have been caught telling porkies with their sweaty pants down around their ankles.

Remedy UK is a grass roots organization that has sprung up in response to these incoherent reforms, and they have amassed a small rain forest worth of evidence in order to try to force the process to stop with a judicial review, which was applied for on the 29th of April; this is while the limp BMA have stood idly by and done fuck all worthwhile. There was even a parliamentary debate on MTAS/MMC in which there were yet more government lies. The heads of MMC have now resigned and many highly respected consultants are up in arms, but the process is rolled on.

It gets much worse. In recent days it has been shown that anyone with a computer could freely access extremely personal data of all the applicants on MTAS (including sexual preference, criminal records, phone numbers, addresses and more). This headlined the Channel 4 news and the DoH then claimed that the site was secure. However on the very next day it was shown that all the emails that had been sent via MTAS could be viewed and replied to by any old punter, the emails and enclosed personal data was not even protected via passwords. The scandal is still unfolding and bizarrely the latest twist involves Hewitt lying about important details and trying to pin the blame of her department's failings on Channel 4; while it is revealed that the system delays will lead to NHS chaos in August with operations already being cancelled.

HMG and the DoH have yet again proven that they are incompetent cretinous fuckwits of the most malignant order. I wouldn’t trust them with my email address, let alone my confidential medical records on the NHS SPINE or yet more personal data on the national ID database. This affair is symptomatic of a quite contemptible Blairite regime that I wouldn’t even waste my most festering saliva on. Corrupt ideological reform hides behind their allegedly ‘noble’ motives as they railroad their through policy that benefits only themselves.

Conflict of interest: I am a doctor and I fucking hate this government.


[Garth normally blogs as The Ferret Fancier and has now been added to the DK writers rostrum—DK]

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Each time I think it can't get worse. I'm a junior doctor applying through MTAS.

Last week anyone in the world could access my application form and racial equality monitoring data via Google.

This week: no-one can access any data at all! Prior to my interview I have been asked by my Deanery to send them a hard copy of my application form as they can't get it from MTAS. Meanwhile in Scotland other candidates have been asked to contact their deaneries & 'remind' them of dates of interviews they've already been offered!

Have these guys not seen Brazil?

Great blog by the way, will definitely be back.