Nature teaches us a lot about the need for a rich and balanced ecosystem. Knock out one species and top predators starve, weeds and algae bloom and co-dependent species go extinct.
So it is with the medical workforce which is large, essential and 24/7. Keeping it up and running in an effective manner is a mammoth task (no pun intended).
Locums are an essential part if this particular ecosystem and whilst their use waxes and wanes, the numbers and activity of the locum workforce always seems to return to a state of balance.
And so it should be. Without the flexibility that locums provide the ability to provide medical services when and where needed would be seriously compromised.
So next time you wish you didn't have to rely on locums, imagine for a moment what life would be like if you couldn't. You might find yourself on an endangered species list pretty quickly.
Dr John Bethell, Director Wavelength International