Jeremy Hunt has been attempting to force a new contact on junior doctors. It would cut their pay by between 15% and 40% and force longer hours on them. Women who decide to have children and anyone doing research would be particularly severely effected.
Not surprisingly, they are furious – and quite rightly. The plan is not only a scandal, it would put patients at risk.
Many are now so fed up they have began planning to leave Britain altogether! A poll of more than 6,000 trainees found 42 per cent of junior doctors said they would go abroad in search of work if the government went ahead with its plans.
At the heart of the dispute was an attempt to cut their pay by between 15% and 40% and force longer hours on them. What is really disturbing is that the Conservative government are prepared to go this far with an institution we all love and rely on: the NHS.
Holborn & St Pancras is particularly lucky to have so many world class hospitals in and around the constituency. UCH medical school alone had 1650 medical students in November 2014.
I have met with many junior doctors, as well as receiving moving emails and letters, but I thought I would let you all read this one, which seems to sum it all up.
It is from a young woman now training at the Royal Free Hospital:
“I am on day 12 of a 12 day stretch of shifts which included a week of nights. I am working the next 4 weekends in a row.
In my spare time and on my annual leave I do research and audits, I pay to take my professional exams and I go on courses to try and be the best doctor I can be….I’m not looking for sympathy or praise for this.
Every junior doctor and actually pretty much every hospital doctor And although all of this can be a bit of a pain, I don't mind. It's what I signed up for. And there are plenty of other jobs that demand similar working patterns.
However, they don't usually get given a 15% pay cut with no negotiation and no discussion. With the new contract changes being proposed, Mr Hunt is threatening to destroy the NHS that I love so much.
I already know more people than I can count who are planning on or have already gone to work abroad.
They have been made to feel so undervalued and pushed to breaking point that they are leaving for a better lifestyle for places where their jobs are valued, where they can continue to provide excellent care for patients.
We are losing lots of our greatest assets and I am genuinely scared that in 5 years time we may not have an NHS left to fight for
Perhaps that's his plan.”