Junior doctors are preparing to march to Westminster and also in Nottingham in protest to proposed changes in contract. Dan Poulter, a former UK health minister has backed junior doctors in a controversial video as they plan on staging a protest regarding a change in contract hours and pay.
The government is pushing for a 7-day contract which is very good but the terms spelt out in the contract is unfair to say the least and not rewarding according to the British Medical Association (BMA). This was highlighted in the video.
The BMA is supporting its members as they fear that there could be a threat to patient safety.
Dr Poulter said that junior doctors are the “backbone of the NHS” and that they should be given a contract that is fair and guards against unsafe hours as the new contract is set to include Saturdays (till 10pm) and Sundays.
The Tory MP described junior doctors as “the backbone of our NHS” as he called for a contract that “properly rewards” staff and ensures they do not work unsafe hours.
A new contract would reclassify doctors’ normal working week to include Saturdays and up to 10pm every night of the week except Sunday. Although Jeremy Hunt, the current health minister, said that the total number of hours doctor will work from 91 to 72 and also making sure that they don’t work five nights in a row according to the interview he gave to the BBC which you can listen to by clicking the play button below. A junior doctor was also present during the interview and he gave his view of the whole situation.
The government needs to come out openly and reveal the fine details. The government of England has said that they will be changing the contract, Scotland and Wales have taken a stand that they will not be changing their contracts and Northern Ireland are yet to decide.