Second year medic performs emotional song about junior doctors’ pay cuts
It’s not about the money, money, money
Over 5000 furious medics and junior doctors stormed the Department Of Health in a protest against pay cuts and longer hours.
And at the centre of the protest was a second year Oxford Medic, who even brought his guitar along.
Eirion Slade, 24, wrote a song for the occasion, changing the words to the slightly relevant “Price Tag” by Jessie J – which now has now had nearly 200,000 views.
He switched the first line to “Hunt has got a good degree, he got a first in PPE” in a reference to the current Health Secretary.
Eirion told The Tab: “Junior doctors work bloody hard hours and they arguably deserve to get paid more than they do.”
“But for me pay isn’t the most important thing, but the threat to the public health service is the biggest problem.”
Proposed wage cuts and extended hours for enraged junior doctors mean they’ll be paid even less than a McDonald’s manager.
The 7-day NHS proposal could mean junior doctors receive a staggering wage cut of up to 30 per cent as the times for their normal working hours may be extended in a new contract.
With this drop in pay junior doctors on their first year can expect to bring in just over £16,000 – which is the same as a manager at Greggs or McDonald’s.
And on Monday junior doctors and medical students hit the streets to protest about the changes.
Eirion said: “Having got on my mates’ shoulders and looked at the crowd outside the department of health, the entire street was blocked off with people.
“At least 5000 people went.
“The organisers contacted me a couple of days before the protest, asking me to bring my guitar down.
“They thought it would be a nice thing to do to help motivate the protesters and get the message out to the public.”
Speaking on his Jessie J parody, Eirion said: “I wrote the song on Saturday, but it kind of wrote itself.
“It’s an issue which has been troubling me for some time.
“Almost all of the response has been very positive. I think people are very happy that it’s improved public awareness.
“The only criticism that the video’s had is that is focused too much on the bigger issues and doesn’t actually quite convey some of the junior doctor’s dismay that the pay will get cut.”
“The majority of people were medical students and junior doctors, bit this isn’t just an issue for us as members of the public should have their right to care safeguarded.
“But when it comes down to pay, the public don’t tend to be very sympathetic – so that’s why.”
Eirion is currently studying a graduate entry medical degree at Oxford which he describes as “zero to a doctor in four years”.
After finishing the course, he says he can expect a gruelling 90 hour week under the new government plans.
He said: “When I become a doctor the new contract will mean my employers can make me work very long unsociable hours.
“Can you really give your best quality healthcare to somebody when you’ve been working 24 or 36 hours straight?
“The main concern is that this is going to harm people’s ability to practice medicine properly.”
While the majority of his coursemates are dedicated to becoming doctors, Eirion is worried some might be put off by the cuts.
He said: “This business with the contracts makes people doubt how secure their futures will be, especially those who thought they might want to go into something else.”