And so it turns out that Chief Execs at some hospitals in the South West have decided there is only one thing for it, doctors and nurses must be paid less.

Only through paying medical staff at the NHS less money can ends be made to meet.

So, just as wages at the very top – paid out to those whose errors may have created the financial crisis – rise and rise, we are told we have to pay less money to those whose job it is to save lives. Is that fair? Of course it isn’t, but can it be avoided?

Time was when nurses received a salary that was little more than an insult. Back in the 1970s and 1980s, nurses’ pay was a scandal.

Doctors were not treated much better. Junior doctors worked all the hours that God sent, and when they came out of the mill, they received okay salaries but way down on what their school friends earned in the City.

Give New Labour credit, they really tried to solve this injustice.

But the NHS cannot be funded as a result.

We have tried to do the impossible. Increase pay to doctors and nurses without upping taxes. Refusals to countenance the very harsh choice that must be made between nurses receiving a decent wage and taxation has created a problem with no solution.

A part of the snag is the pro-occupation these days of making a degree a requirement to do just about anything. It may be possible to ease the plight of the NHS, without paying nurses an insultingly low wage again, by bringing back SENs. Make it so that all nurses must work as a modern day equivalent of an SEN for a few years, before they can complete their nursing training.

But looking beyond the NHS, this pretty much sums up the challenge of this age. Globalisation and advances in technology are changing the way the labour markets works. And right now, few seem willing to admit to this.

©2012 Investment and Business News.

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© Investment & Business News 2013