Junior doctors to go ahead with industrial action

Junior doctors will be going on strike after the British Medical Association (BMA) and the Department of Health failed to reach an agreement over new contracts.

Junior doctors protesting in London on 17th October 2015. Credit: Rohin Francis
Junior doctors protesting in London on 17th October 2015. Credit: Rohin Francis
For 24 hours beginning at 0800 on Wednesday 10th February, junior doctors in England will offer emergency care only. Junior doctors in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will not be striking.

Johann Malawana, head of the BMA Junior Doctor Committee, said: “We made some good progress. But the Government has made clear, yet again, that they are not prepared to address issues our members have made clear are critical to them.”

The strike on 10 February was originally planned to be a 12-hour walkout from all care – including A&E and other emergency care. Malawana said about the change: “We believe that this balances the need to demonstrate our determination to the Government whilst minimising disruption to patients.”

Junior doctors are concerned about the removal of safeguards to prevent them being overworked; the removal of year-on-year pay progression and the Government’s plan to make Saturday a normal working day.

However some junior doctors online expressed frustration with their trade union. Andreas Leonidou described the move from ‘full walkout’ to ’emergency care only’ as: “A bad move by the BMA. Again.” Debar Rasoul called it: “Nothing less than ridiculous.”

The Department of Health or NHS Employers have yet to comment at the time of writing.


Subedited by Kip Dudden.

Previously written for and published on WestminsterWorld.com


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