As Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt imposing the new contract on junior doctors, they are threatening to leave NHS to seek jobs in the Middle East and Australia
The chaos at NHS sparked by Hunt has caused a huge surge in doctors seeking certificates to practise abroad. The General Medical Council has issued leave permission to over 750 doctors in the first four weeks of 2016. This is almost double the usual number.
Each junior doctor costs the NHS at least £350,000 to train over eight years, including university costs and hospital placements. The new exodus will cost taxpayers of £1.5billion.
Mr Hunt at parliament announced that he would be imposing the contract because further negotiations with the doctors’ union were not ‘realistically possible’. His decision followed a 24-hour strike by junior doctors on Wednesday – the second in a month.
Commenting on the announcement by the Government to impose a new contract on junior doctors in England, 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.”