Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt defends his decision to implement the ‘Manifesto Commitment’ as thousands of junior doctors begin their strike for a fair deal….reports Asian Lite News
Thousands of junior doctors walked out of both routine and emergency care at 8 am in protest at the imposition of a new contract which deprives them of fair deal in payment and working conditions.
It is the first time services such as A&E, maternity and intensive care have been hit in the long-running dispute. Another bolt of strike will hit tomorrow at the same time.
NHS bosses believe plans are in place to ensure safety, but say the situation will be monitored closely during the stoppage which ends at 17:00 BST.
Hospitals can request that junior doctors return to work if needed, but as yet no NHS trust has raised the alarm. This is the first all-out doctors’ strike in the NHS’s history has begun in England.
Dr Mark Porter, Council chair, British Medical Association, said the strike is not only for pay, as Jeremy hunt claims, but over number of critical issues like work-life balance, excessive working hours, improvements in training and crucially, workforce and funding implications for seven day services.
“The proposed contract is deficient in failing to address these issues properly, hence our concerns for patient care, the long-term future of the NHS and the recruitment and retention of doctors.”