Don’t be misled by media lies: here are the reasons your doctors are on strike

Junior doctors have begun four days of strikes to raise awareness of the way the Tory government is crippling the NHS in England, repeating their call for better pay and more investment in the service. At the moment, Tory policy is killing people who should be getting treatment. Can you stomach that?

This is for anybody who still thinks doctors are harming England’s health service by going on strike: they are striking to stop the harm being inflicted by your Tory government!

This post may be quite long so, for those of you who don’t have much time, I’ll try to summarise it, here at the top:

Tory claims that their pay offer to doctors is fair are not true: it is a crappy real-terms pay cut.

Tory claims that their pay offer was recommended by an independent pay review body are also untrue: everybody on that organisation was employed by the Tory government and was told the exact amount the Tory government would make available for pay, before being told to make a decision on it.

Tory claims that doctors’ pay demands are inflationary are lies: junior doctors’ pay has fallen by 26 per cent, in real terms, since 2008. It is impossible for a decrease in costs to be inflationary. Many NHS doctors are now deeply in debt because of Tory pay cuts.

Tory claims that doctors are refusing to negotiate are lies: it is the Tory government that is refusing to negotiate.

Not only are the Tories refusing to negotiate; they are actually preparing to strip doctors of their right to strike, making it impossible for them ever to regain the fair pay and conditions that everybody working in the UK should have as a matter of course.

The NHS in England is currently under severe strain, with the number of people waiting for treatment now standing at 7.6 million – more than at any time in its 75-year history.

These problems were not caused by doctors but by deliberate Tory government de-funding; Tory ministers have taken money away from the health service in order to make it break down. People are dying because of Tory government policy – that is Steve Barclay’s intention; it is what Rishi Sunak wants.

The Tories have made multiple promises over the years that they have claimed will solve the problems facing the NHS – but it is Tory policy never to follow through on those promises.

Doctors are striking because these Tory policies mean they can no longer do their job.

Many of them are themselves facing mental illness due to the stress of being unable to treat people who desperately need help.

Over the same period of time that waiting lists have been lengthening, Tory government policy has been to privatise increasing numbers of NHS services, claiming that the introduction of private, profit-making corporations into healthcare will somehow make it more efficient, rather than draining funds from an already cash-starved organisation. The result has been catastrophic, with almost all parts of the English health service going from an operating surplus into deep debt. This has created even more stress for doctors.

The effect of this state-sponsored incompetence has been to push people into seeking private health treatment in order to jump the NHS queue – whether they can afford it or not. So not only is the NHS now in debt but so are many people who are suffering with illnesses and other conditions whose treatment should be funded by their National Insurance money and public funding.

Of course, it may be possible to get funding for health treatments via private insurance – if the insurer agrees that the policy you have is intended to pay for the treatment you need. Private insurance firms are salivating at the prospect of taking money from people whose health needs mean they cannot wait for an NHS that has been crippled by Tory de-funding to get round to them.

Those are the headline points. Now let’s put some meat on the bones.

Here’s Peter Stefanovic to explain the broad situation:

Here’s Krishnan Guru-Murthy and the Channel 4 News team to explain why the number of people waiting for help is soaring:

You’ll have noticed that the C4 News piece said strikes are disrupting services, and seen the defence of strikes by a doctor under interview. Here’s Grace Blakeley to further explain why doctors are striking:

Rishi Sunak, during a phone-in on LBC radio, blamed the increase in waiting lists on striking doctors. Here’s just one – factual – reaction to that:

And now let’s listen to a junior doctor named Olivia as she explains the facts of NHS life to a prime minister whose facial expression clearly shows that he couldn’t care less:

Here’s Dr Andrew Meyerson to explain how Tory government policy has crippled the NHS:

Here’s Channel 4 News (again), interviewing a GP on how he and others in his profession have been affected by the Tory-created problems in the NHS:

Here’s Dr Meyerson (again) on the medical debt inflicted on patients by Tory government policy:

Businesses – particularly insurance firms – know an opportunity when they see one. Here’s Axa, explaining why Tory government policy is ushering in an era of insurance-based healthcare, similar to the system in the United States, where health costs are a major cause of bankruptcy:

Now you have the facts. The question is: who do you support – the Tory government, or the striking doctors?

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