New junior doctor contract is unacceptably sexist and the BMA will fight it in the courts

And now she'll have found out that the new contract being imposed on her actually discriminates against her because she is a woman.

This was at a strike last year. Now she’ll have found out that the new contract being imposed by Jeremy Hunt actually discriminates against her because she is a woman.

What sort of society allows a contract through that admits it is prejudicial against women – particularly single parents?

That was the question posed by one doctor on Twitter yesterday, in response to an equality analysis of the new contract for junior doctors.

This document, released by the Department of Health yesterday (March 31), seems to be a propaganda piece that sets out to justify rampant sexism and other unacceptable conditions.

The British Medical Association has already launched a legal challenge against the Conservative Government over the contract, and the equalities document merely adds to its case.

Another legal challenge is being crowdfunded and, having reached its original target of £25,000, is now less than £11,000 short of its new goal of £125,000.

The contract is riddled with clauses that create an unnecessary and unjust burden on female doctors – along with weak justifications for them. The line is: “Any indirect adverse effect on women is a proportionate means of a legitimate aim”.

Nearly 60 per cent of junior doctors are women.

Here’s the issue in a nutshell:


The response from doctors has been overwhelmingly negative. They won’t accept a contract that discriminates against women – and This Writer applauds them for their principled stand.

So we have the following from Dr Aiofe Abbey: “Just home from long day. Seeing the junior contract news, my main thought is I need to find somewhere else to practice medicine. Somewhere I’m not disadvantaged “comfortably” for “proportionate ” aims.”

She continues: “Does saying discrimination is legal mean it is right? Of course not. I won’t list the times that’s been disastrous for society in past. The idea that NHS would engender into contract, discrimination of single parents is beyond contempt.”

Dr Paul Southall tweeted: “The wording of the DoH document on the impact of the junior contract for women is, quite frankly, astonishing in 2016.”

Here’s Dr Alex Gates: “Shocking piece of sexist discriminatory pre-suffragette dross. Dickensian junior contract openly discriminating against women. Just shocking. Junior doctors will walk.”

The BMA, announcing its judicial review, said it was taking this action because the Conservative Government had failed to pay due regard to equalities prior to imposing the contract.

BMA junior doctors committee chair Johann Malawana said it represented a ‘total failure’ on the Government’s part.

Dr Malawana said: “In trying to push through these changes, prior to imposing a new contract, the Government failed to give proper consideration to the equalities impact this contract could have on junior doctors.

“The Government’s shambolic mishandling of the process, from start to finish, has alienated a generation of doctors — the hospital doctors and GPs of the future — leaving a real risk that some will vote with their feet and the future of patient care will be affected.”

To support the crowdfunded legal challenge, visit the CrowdJustice website here.

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5 thoughts on “New junior doctor contract is unacceptably sexist and the BMA will fight it in the courts

  1. Terry Davies

    seems Hunt will soon be looking for another job.
    Hes going to be moved out of this one to avoid the heat coming when courts intervene.

  2. Brian

    How a government can alienate so many sections of society and still maintain a shred of credibility with the electorate is improbable. I have every respect for the doctors rightful opposition to this contract, but welcome their influential presence to the growing ranks of the British public that the Tories are attempting to stuff and humiliate.

  3. peskirabbit

    I’ve got a sneaking suspicion that the government would *like* to see doctors vote with their feet. After all we can replace doctors with pseudo medics who’ve been on a two week course that’ll do for your average Joe.Together with “skills deliverers” instead of teachers…..the government would like, I think to prove to these two groups, the doctors and the teachers, that they are not indispensible…..they are of course indispensible to the welfare of most of us but the rich will always have their private doctors and private schools.

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