160904 junior doctor NHS strike explained

The article quoted below – from The Guardian, of all places – is stuff and nonsense, it seems.

It states that rank-and-file junior doctors have forced the BMA to call off the five-day strike scheduled to begin next Monday (September 12) when, according to the BMA itself, the real reason is that the NHS will not be able to cope and patient safety will be at risk.

One can easily understand why a cover story was fabricated at short notice.

It would hugely harm the government’s case if Jeremy Hunt had to admit the hospitals he has understaffed and the services he has underfunded will not be able to cope with a strike by the medical professionals he has been treating like dirt.

That is the real reason the strike has been called off, though – NHS England has admitted it will not be able to cope due to the short period of notice given before the strike.

If the junior doctors were the radical political activists some have been claiming they are, they would press ahead with their strike, because it would be about making a political point.

If the junior doctors were the rabid money-grubbers some have been claiming they are, they would press ahead with their strike, because it would be about increasing their pay.

They are neither. They have suspended their first five-day strike because it is, in fact, about ensuring the safety of NHS patients.

Doctors have taken an oath to ensure that patients come to no harm, remember.

What a shame Jeremy Hunt has never been asked to do the same.

As the situation currently stands, industrial action will take place on October 5-7, 10 and 11; November 14-18; and December 5-9.

Here‘s the BMA’s latest statement on the strike, by junior doctors committee chairperson Ellen McCourt:

Over the past few days we have been described as radical, we have been described as militant, we have been described as prioritising ourselves over our patient’s safety.

This is not true.

Patient safety remains doctors’ primary concern. For the first time in this dispute NHS England have told us that a service under such pressure cannot cope with the notice period for industrial action given. Our hospitals are chronically under staffed. Our NHS is desperately underfunded. We have to listen to our colleagues when they tell us that they need more time to keep patients safe.

We have also listened to the concerns of working doctors, patient groups and the public. Thousands of you have been in touch, your level of anger over the Secretary of State’s imposed contract remains high, but at the same time you want to keep your patients safe during industrial action.

The BMA is therefore suspending the industrial action planned for the week of 12 September. The remaining programme of industrial action stays in place.

This does not absolve the Secretary of State. He continues to ignore our request to stop the imposition. He continues to force upon junior doctors a contract that discriminates against carers, parents, doctors with disabilities and women, a contract that devalues our time and a contract that disincentives careers in our most struggling specialties. He continues to strive towards an uncosted, unfunded, unstaffed extended seven day service. He continues to disregard the concerns junior doctors have about staffing shortages and patient safety.

Future action is, however, still avoidable. The BMA has repeatedly said that it will call off further action if the Secretary of State stops his imposition of the contract, listen to the concerns of junior doctors, and works with us to negotiate a contract, based upon fresh agreed principles, that has the confidence of junior doctors.

There are four weeks until October. The Secretary of State must use this time to listen and act.

And now here’s The Guardian‘s mashed, propagandised version:

A revolt by rank-and-file junior doctors forced the British Medical Association to call off a five-day strike scheduled for next week on Monday, amid worries about the impact it would have on patients and the health service.

BMA insiders say members of the junior doctors committee, who had called the strike last Wednesday, were inundated with “scores, possibly hundreds” of angry protests in the days afterwards, forcing the rethink.

Junior doctors were particularly annoyed and anxious that the BMA had given the NHS just 12 days to prepare for the first of what the doctors’ union later said would be a series of week-long stoppages.

Source: BMA calls off September junior doctors’ strike after ‘scores’ of protests | Society | The Guardian

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