The Health Services in England is heading for a grinding halt as Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt says that he will IMPOSE the contract at any cost. The doctors are threatening mass resignation and refusal ….reports Asian Lite News
Speaking in the House of Commons, Mr Hunt said the contract was an “important step” in improving care at weekends. This is part of Conservative election manifesto promise of 7-day NHS.
He said the government’s door had “remained open for three years” but the BMA had proved “unwilling” to show flexibility and compromise.
“While I understand that this process has generated considerable dismay among junior doctors, I believe that the new contract we are introducing is one that, in time, can command the confidence of both the workforce and their employers.”
“The health secretary’s failure to listen to junior doctors, his deeply dubious misrepresentation of research about care at weekends and his desire to make these contract negotiations into a symbolic fight for delivery of seven-day services has led to a situation which has been unprecedented in my lifetime,” said Heidi Alexander, Shadow Health Secretary. “This whole dispute could have been handled so differently.
Meanwhile, Dr Johann Malawana, BMA junior doctor committee chair, said: “The decision to impose a contract is a sign of total failure on the Government’s part. Instead of working with the BMA to reach an agreement that is in the best interests of patients, junior doctors and the NHS as a whole the Government has walked away, rejecting a fair and affordable offer put forward by the BMA. Instead it wants to impose a flawed contract on a generation of junior doctors who have lost all trust in the Health Secretary.
“Junior doctors already work around the clock, seven days a week and they do so under their existing contract. If the Government want more seven-day services then, quite simply, it needs more doctors, nurses and diagnostic staff, and the extra investment needed to deliver it. Rather than addressing these issues, the Health Secretary is ploughing ahead with proposals that are fundamentally unfair.
“This is clearly a political fight for the Government rather than an attempt to come to a reasonable solution for all junior doctors. If it succeeds with its bullying approach of imposing a contract on junior doctors that has been roundly rejected by the profession it will no doubt seek to do the same for other NHS staff.
“It is notable that the rest of the UK has chosen a different, constructive path on junior doctors’ contracts with only the Health Secretary in England choosing imposition over agreement.
“The Government’s shambolic handling of this process from start to finish has totally alienated a generation of junior doctors – the hospital doctors and GPs of the future, and there is a real risk that some will vote with their feet.
“Our message to the Government is clear: junior doctors cannot and will not accept a contract that is bad for the future of patient care, the profession and the NHS as a whole, and we will consider all options open to us.”