A Junior Doctor Quit Live On TV This Morning...
The Debrief: This morning a junior doctor announced that he would from the profession live on TV over the new contract being put in place by the government.
Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock recently you’ll have noticed that junior doctors are far from happy at the moment. There have been strikes, walkouts, protests against changes being made to their contracts by Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt, and hundreds of column inches covering it all.
At the heart of all of this are changes to junior doctors working hours and pay – which would include working Saturdays for a normal rate instead of paid for ‘unsociable hours’, as well as a lower rate than is currently paid for nights.
There have been several reports which suggest that the proposed changes to junior doctors’ contracts will hit women who face a widening pay gap with their male counterparts, in particular because of the cost of securing childcare at weekends.
This week an unprecedented 48-hour walkout of junior doctors is planned, which for the first time, will include A&E units. Indeed, the British Medical Association has not ruled out further action such as staging a permanent strike and mass resignation of trainees. NHS England says the proposed strike will put-back 112,856 outpatient appointments and 12,711 planned operations between 18 April and 2 May.
This morning Dr Ben White, a junior doctor, said that he would resign live on air whilst appearing on breakfast news over the government’s decision to impose the contract despite calls for reconsideration and protests against it.
White, who is part of a group doctors seeking to challenge the contract at the high court, told ITV’s Good morning Britain: ‘I have taken the decision that I am resigning as a trainee doctor to focus on a legal campaign to fight the contract on behalf of my patients and on behalf of the NHS.’
He added: ‘I really feel like we have been backed into a corner and there’s not a lot of sense coming out of the government’s side of things.’
‘We have to put patients first and we can see at the moment the understaffing and the underfunding in the NHS.’
Yesterday, the Health Secretary rejected a compromise, proposed by a group of MPs from all parties and backed by the British Medical Association, which proposed that he would only trial his changes instead of imposing them with immediate effect. As a result, the all-out strike which will see junior doctors walk out across the country is set to begin at 8am tomorrow morning, Tuesday 26th April.
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