Sick doctors too busy to take time off

Overworked
doctors who are too busy to take sick leave are putting patients at risk of
catching their illnesses.

Researchers
from St George’s Hospital in Tooting, South-West London, questioned junior
doctors about their attitudes to sick leave in 1993 and 2001 and found that
almost two-thirds were not taking sick leave, even if they had infectious
diseases.

Junior
doctors said the main reasons for being unwilling to take time off were
pressure from senior managers and the burden they would put on fellow staff.

Hospital-acquired
infections caused by contact with staff are estimated to cost the NHS in
England £985m a year.

By Michael Millar

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