Thousands of junior doctors working in the NHS protested in front of Downing Street urging the government to drop the move to implement new contract….reports Asian Lite News
The British Medical Association warned last week that there could be a mass exodus of junior doctors if the government imposes the new contract, which would see young medics work longer hours and take a significant pay cut.
The changes proposed by Health Secretary Jeremy Hunts will cut the pay of junior doctors by 30 per cent. As per the new rules the evenings and weekends would be paid at the standard rate.
According to the BMA, the new contract could affect up to 55,000 doctors. Jane Dacre, the president of the Royal College of Physicians, said: “I have been speaking to my fellow royal college presidents, and we have agreed to send a joint letter to the secretary of state for health to express our significant concerns.”
The Department of Health said this week that it would impose the contract from April, as part of its drive for seven-day services, reclassifying junior doctors’ normal working week to include Saturdays and run to 10pm every night except Sunday.
More than 30,000 people have signed a petition calling on the British Medical Association to ballot for strike action.
Thousands of people joined in the protest, with many holding banners with slogans on such as “save our contracts, save our patients, save our NHS”, “not safe, not fair” and “hands off our pay”.
The contract would alter junior doctors’ normal working week, so they could work Saturdays and up to 10pm every night of the week except Sunday. This would mean that junior medics would be paid a standard rate working those hours, losing out on money.
The new contract is due to come into effect next August and there has been as sharp increase in the number of doctors applying for documents to work abroad, leading to fears that there could be an “exodus” of medically trained staff.