MESSAGE FROM JUNIOR DOCTORS ALLIANCE ***
As a group of committed junior doctors, we were deeply concerned and disappointed to learn of the BMA decision to “suspend” industrial action on the grounds of patient safety, which appears to contradict its previous position that the new contract is unsafe for patients.
We also find it surprising that the downgrading of a strike to fewer than five days was not chosen as alternative action. Although the BMA has said it will reveal alternative plans to oppose the contract over the next few days, we find it strange that our representative union has not seen fit to share these with its members.
We are also concerned that voting percentages on the strike action were not made available yesterday by the BMA, and call on them to make this information public, just as in every other democratic organisation.
We reject claims made by the BMA that industrial action will compromise patient safety. As in previous strikes, our hospital consultant colleagues would fill in for us, thus enabling patients to receive superior medical care.
While we realise that any operation cancellations are an inconvenience to patients, this is not a new phenomenon. Only this week, the BBC cited some 71,370 last minute cancellations last year, “either on the day the patient was meant to arrive, after they had arrived, or on the day of the planned operation.”
This only proves what we already know – that the NHS is already in dire straits, and the contract proposed by Secretary of State for Health Jeremy Hunt will only push an already crisis-hit service to breaking point.
De facto, in the absence of further strike action, it would appear we are being forced to accept an unfair and unsafe contract, which the BMA has ostensibly fought against in the name of junior doctors, for the past year.
We at the JDA will continue to put pressure on the BMA to make meaningful progress towards a contract that is safe for both patients and doctors.
We are committed to continue to raise awareness among the public about the contract.
Please support us by donating on our JustGiving page and feel free to share your ideas with us. And watch this space for further JDA initiatives to ensure that we continue to fight this unjust and unsafe contract.
We’re all in this together. We can make a difference.
The JDA team
Julia Grace Patterson
Mona Kamal Ahmed
Hunt’s Junior Doctors’ contract aims to down skill healthcare provision and maximise profit extraction from NHS by private companies
Dr Bob Gill adds:
Down skilling is a key pillar of the NHS privatisation and a JD contract which worsens TCS, removes protections and leaves whistleblowers at risk of career destruction is required to achieve this goal. The purpose of down skilling healthcare provision is to maximise profit extraction and has nothing to do with high quality and safe patient care.
As made clear in the JD contract (but not noticed by most), doctors will not be employed by the NHS but ‘the employer’ will include Virgin, UnitedHealth, Circle etc etc. Future healthcare will be provided by the cheapest and least qualified person ‘the employer’ can get away with.
The contract is designed to drive out doctors creating the justification for shutting more hospitals and replacing doctors with physicians assistants and nurses; nurses to be replaced by HCAs repeating the pattern of down skilling across the work force.
A cheap, compliant, fearful and precarious workforce providing poor care and unable to raise the alarm without personal and professional damage.