Yeah, the government cares.

In other words, if a doctor, a nurse or other medical specialist incurs the wrath of the NHS establishment by complaining about the treatment of patients, his or her career is doomed. Institutions are by their nature self-protective, so it’s unlikely that someone sacked by the NHS as a troublemaker would be warmly welcomed by the private sector.

Walker was a senior manager rather than a doctor – head of the United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust – when he got up the corporate nose of the bosses of the East Midlands Strategic Health Authority after refusing to put patients at risk by sticking rigidly to government targets rather than giving precedence to urgent cases. He was eventually sacked for swearing at a meeting – which even if true would be a preposterous reason – and paid off in 2010 with around half a million quid of taxpayers’ money (including lawyers’ costs) – on the understanding that he kept his mouth firmly shut. He agreed, because he had a family to feed and the alternative was financial ruin.

Health subordinate to a government quota system? Comforting. Government waste includes lives once it is running health care.