The Junior Doctors contract is a total outrage

And you should really take notice…

austerity Cambridge cuts doctors government junior medic NHS westminster
Jeremy Hunt has picked a fight with doctors.  While claiming they don’t work weekends (total bollocks), and in order to make a ‘7 Day NHS’ (as if people are currently turned away from hospitals on Sundays) an appalling contract on Junior Doctors.

The other week 50-odd Cambridge medics joined 20,000 doctors and medical students to march on the streets of London in protest. And let’s face it medics are hardly famed for protesting at the drop of a hat.

Dark clouds over Addie’s

This week the BMA will begin to ballot junior doctors on the first full scale industrial action in 40 years.

Why are they so pissed off? Well Jeremy Hunt is proposing a contract which is quite simply not safe and not fair:

‘Normal’ hours are now to be 7am to 10pm Monday-Saturday,  junior doctors are to have just one 20 minute break in a shift of up to 13 hours, and there is a pay cut of up to 30% to boot.

To put that pay cut in context, foundation doctors fresh out of medical school start on £22,600. Which doesn’t compare all that well with that £30,000+ management consultancy starting salary you’re eyeing up straight out of HSPSISPSPSS. Let’s face it, if Arts graduates can hold down jobs as consultants, then someone who has actually seen 9am at some point in the last three years would find it a breeze.

“But he’s offering you an 11% pay rise, I saw it on the news this morning!” Whatever Hunt giveth with one hand, he taketh yet more away with the other. The 11% is LESS than the 14.9% rise that the government’s own review body endorsed, and does not make up for the 27 hours a week now counted as ‘social’ hours when they weren’t previously. Pay progression will be slowed to every other year, in a move which will disproportionately affect women taking maternity leave and those who pursue research, particularly screwing Cambridge Medical graduates.

But it’s not all about pay: negotiations originally broke down over the Government’s refusal to include safeguards which doctors say are essential to protect them from rotas that leave them too tired to be safe. Yet the latest Government proposal includes fewer not better safeguards.

Furthermore making evenings and Saturdays ‘normal’ undermines doctors as human beings, with friends and families. Do you think a doctor will be able to humanely care for your loved ones if they never get time with their own?

 You would think the Health Secretary would know that we already have a seven-day NHS. There are junior doctors in hospitals 24/7 already: they’re the ones who treat you when you fall down the Cindies steps at 2am on a Thursday morning, and when you break your finger playing Cuppers tiddlywinks on the weekend.

Very intelligent, very motivated, and very angry

What is the endgame here if Hunt doesn’t negotiate? Up to 50,000 very intelligent, very motivated, and very angry people are getting organized. Expect a huge mandate in the ongoing strike ballot, and walk outs from hospitals to begin by Christmas. Failing that, many will clear off to Australia and New Zealand, or if need be Wales and Scotland, who have seen the insanity of Hunt’s proposals and rejected them.

If that happens you may end up having to see News Feeds full of our beach or kilt photos, rather than our mediocre banter and whinging about how hard we work.