‘People aren’t dying because of doctors’ strikes but because of cuts to the NHS’

Junior doctors: they’ll strike again tomorrow (Tuesday, April 11, 2023 – this is an image from 2016) for four days while health secretary Steve Barclay dithers over whether to negotiate with them.

Junior doctors are presenting a strong case for a pay rise ahead of a four-day strike this week – citing the fact that MP salaries have risen almost in line with inflation whereas they have taken a 26 per cent pay cut.

Doctors’ representatives have taken to the TV studios to explain their case – and it is compelling.

Here’s Dr Amir Khan on ITV’s Good Morning Britain:

Part of the problem, it seems, is that the Tory government simply isn’t telling anybody its own starting position for pay negotiations. Here’s Dr Mike Greenhalgh on BBC Breakfast:

With no movement from either side, NHS Confederation chief executive Matthew Taylor has called for the independent Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas) to be contacted for help with negotiations.

Acas used to be in the news all the time during the strikes of the 1970s and 80s, but seems to have fallen out of favour over recent decades.

Mr Taylor warned that 350,000 appointments and operations could be cancelled during the four-day strike that starts tomorrow (Tuesday, April 11, 2023) and said both sides needed help to progress:

We should consider asking the government and the trade unions to call in Acas, the conciliation service, to provide some basis for negotiations, because if anything the positions seem to have hardened over the last couple of days.

Services are stretched and there’s no question there will be a risk to patient safety, there will be a risk to patient dignity because we’re unable to provide the kind of care we want.

To be facing this situation where those waiting lists are going to get longer, cancelling work, not being able to guarantee the level of care you want to provide – well that’s heartbreaking for an NHS leader.

Health secretary Steve Barclay has said he is refusing to negotiate until doctors pause their strike and step back from their demand to have pay brought back to parity with its position in 2010.

He’s saying he wants junior doctors to accept that they deserve lower pay rises than he does.

Considering the huge amount of good that doctors do for so many people every day, and the huge amount of harm that the Conservative government of the last 13 years has done to so many more, This Writer has a question:

Who do you think is being unrealistic?

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  1. Chris Phillips April 10, 2023 at 1:45 pm - Reply

    EXACTLY! The TORY Government are almost totally to blame. (They really want an end to the NHS!

  2. Hecuba April 10, 2023 at 3:36 pm - Reply

    Solution is for the MPs salaries to be immediately reduced by 50% and all fascist tory ministers to have their Ministerial salaries withdrawn. All that money saved can be given to the junior NHS doctors and nurses because their value and worth is far far greater than MPs who claim they need second and third jobs because their salaries are insufficient!

  3. Anita April 10, 2023 at 6:31 pm - Reply

    I suspect the government are happy for the strikes to continue as they’ve figured those with the money will go private and those without will suffer and possibly die saving on pensions, benefits etc. End of NHS as planned even if by default.

  4. Iona Hevican April 11, 2023 at 6:19 pm - Reply

    That’s true. I went on News at 10pm. Saying about lack of beds 2015.. The Prime Minister at the time was David Cameron.
    Said that poor woman. That’s all he did for the NHS. Didn’t care to do anything about it.
    Now the are queuing in Ambulances for beds. While the Tory Government sit on their behinds and still nothing.
    Giving money to themselves and their mates. Non Dom’s too. Disgusting.

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