If, for whatever reason, you’ve been out of the current affairs loop, minding your business, or just trying to catch up on some sleep… you might have missed that we’re in full-on ELECTION SEASON.
I repeat: ELECTION SEASON.
We have campaigns, television debates, manifestos, and no shortage of really bad hot takes all over the internet.
In times like these I’m particularly thankful for individuals like Dr Ryan, a 27-year-old junior doctor from the West Midlands who took time out of his busy schedule to encourage people to register to vote and remind us of the issues, specifically the NHS.
With more than 300,000 views on the post in which he reminds people to register to vote before the deadline, the junior doc is just as surprised of his popularity.
He told BuzzFeed News: “Of all the things on social media, I never thought my ‘register to vote’ post would get that kind of attention. If even a handful of young people register and turn out on polling day because of it, I’ll be a happy man. Young people have the chance to transform the result of this election.”
Speaking as a junior doctor, Ryan explained how his line of work emphasised the importance of being politically engaged: “I don’t think you could do my job and not think that voting is important. You see and treat the full spectrum of society every day and see how politics affects all of us. I’ll be voting tactically for the party that can show a track record of funding the NHS and ensuring our immigration policy means we recruit and keep the staff it needs.”
Let’s just say, people are very motivated to preserve the future of the National Health Service as Ryan sees it, it’s all in the uniform.
He told BuzzFeed News: “Some of my Twitter mentions after that post were pretty hilarious. But I think there’s definitely something about being in uniform which plays a part as well.”
The fitness enthusiast is currently working in surgery in the north east of England, and said that he was inspired to become a doctor because he had always been “a bit geeky” as a child, and a teacher planted the thought.
He recalled: “I’ve always been a bit geeky and remember making a lot of ‘chemical potions’ when I was young with my Mom’s products (sorry Mom). I had an awesome teacher who said he thought I’d make a great doctor, I did some work experience, after a bit of work, here I am 12 years later.”
Speaking on his experience working in the NHS, Ryan said: “The NHS is an amazing thing. Working in it has definitely had its highs and lows. Despite the pressures and the working conditions, staff come to work and really deliver that team spirit and I’ve been lucky enough to work with some phenomenal people along the way.”
When it comes to the future of the NHS, Dr Ryan wants the incoming government to focus on two key areas: ensuring safe staffing levels and social care.
He told BuzzFeed News: “Two things are right at the top of the list for me. Firstly safe staffing– too many times, I’ve seen staff stretched to try and deliver care for more patients than is safe because there aren’t enough of us on the ground. The effect is disastrous for both patients and the staff that are trying to do their best.
“Two, social care– I see the effects of local authority cuts and the problems with social care every day. We need a bold and transformative plan to deal with how we look after the nation.”
Speaking on his love for the service, the 27-year-old noted that despite its issues, the true value of the NHS was the ability to take away the financial burden from the lives of patients.
He explained: “Health problems can strike any of us at any moment. The NHS has its problems, but the fact that insurance premiums and coverage aren’t an additional stress at the most vulnerable times in people’s lives is something to celebrate.”
Dr. Ryan’s call to action has some people requesting medical attention.
Even people from outside the country are motivated.
Maybe Dr Ryan has a future in politics? he already has one vote guaranteed.
I think we can all agree that thirst-trapping in the name of voter engagement is a worthy cause, and Ryan is happy to take the cheeky comments if it means his message is getting across. He said: “I suppose in this case it’s definitely given me a platform to broadcast my message, so it’s been helpful in that way.”
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