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The Government Needs to Listen to our Junior Doctors

The Government is attempting to introduce a new contract for junior doctors in England. The contract, which will not affect Doctors in Scotland or Wales, will effectively mean that doctors will work more weekends than they do now and days worked at weekend will be classed as normal working days. This means that the pay for weekends worked will be less. In addition the proposed new shift patterns Junior doctors tell me, will not give them time to recover between shifts and will therefore jeopardise the safety of patients. In short the Government is trying to introduce a fully staffed 7 Day NHS on the cheap. Doctors feel undervalued and insulted. So it is not really surprising that for the first time in 40 years they have taken the decision to strike. Over 95% of Junior doctors voted to go on strike because they feel that the Secretary for Health, Jeremy Hunt is riding roughshod over their genuine concerns and David Cameron keeps telling them all that they will be better off under the new contract. This is hugely patronising and it is because the doctors understand very well what the changes will mean that they have taken the difficult decision to strike. They have agreed to call of the second strike and are now back round the table. The Government must pull out all the stops to reach an agreement to avoid further strike action in February and beyond. The Government must put patient safety first and there is a lot to be said for the old saying "You get what you pay for"Junior_doctors.jpg

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