This Blog was right to say Jeremy Hunt was taking a huge gamble with the National Health Service in England (and so was Heidi Alexander who said much the same thing in Parliament).
His decision to impose his unfair, harmful contract must be met with only one response from junior doctors:
They have to walk away.
It seems the contracts will be imposed as current, short-term, contracts expire, so there won’t be any opportunity for legal action over breaches.
But the new contracts are potentially harmful to patients, so the logical solution is for NHS-trained junior doctors to refuse to sign.
They won’t lose out financially because they can always take contracts in countries where patient care is valued – like Wales or Scotland.
Meanwhile, Jeremy Hunt will be stuck in a quagmire of his own making.
The British Medical Association – and all the doctors it represents – should let that happen. The public backlash could be overwhelming, and that could help prevent any government from trying to repeat the travesty that we have been seeing for the past many months.
The alternative is to tell this government – and its successors – that it can do just whatever it wants, to anybody, all the time.
Junior doctor leaders have promised to fight on after the government in England announced it will impose a new contract on the profession.
The British Medical Association said it was “considering all options” as the dispute threatens to escalate further.
It comes after Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said he had been left with no choice but to act – just hours after the latest doctor strike ended.
The union refused to accept a “take-it-or-leave-it” offer on Wednesday.
BMA GP leader Dr Johann Malawana said the contract was “flawed” and they had put forward a “fair and affordable” alternative.
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