the Disillusioned kid: It Makes Me Sick
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Tuesday, October 19, 2004

It Makes Me Sick

At a meeting with 200 GPs at the Royal Society of Medicine conference, works and pensions secretary Alan Johnson urged doctors to think twice before signing patients off-work in a bid to end the so-called "sick note culture". The Medical News Today report of the speech (discovered via Google News) goes so far as to attribute to Johnson the suggestion that delegates "act to get sick people working again." Presumably this is an error and they mean those who have been sick, but are now better. Whichever, I remain dubious about the whole idea. We already work the longest hours in Europe and this seems to be a way of making us work even more. Why shouldn't people have sufficient time off to recover from illness or injury? We are more than simply cogs in a capitalist machine and work is not, nor should be, the only thing in people's lives.
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