I’m appalled at the way our junior doctors are being treated by this Conservative Government.
When we or our loved ones get sick, we all want the comfort of knowing the brightest and best are providing their care. Yet Jeremy Hunt’s shambolic handling of the junior doctor contract negotiations seems designed to push dedicated professionals out of the NHS. In just three days last month, 1,644 physicians registered with the General Medical Council for the certificates they need to work overseas. Normally, they only receive around 20 applications a day.
Our NHS needs more doctors.
Please join me in signing the petition opposing this proposed contract that the British Medical Association have described as ‘unfair and unsafe’ by clicking here.
Over the past few weeks I’ve been contacted by local doctors who’ve told me what the proposed changes would mean to them. One told me they had £40,000 of student debt and after six years of training were just starting out on a salary of £22,600. They said that they’d lose around 30% of their salary and be left struggling to pay their rent and bills. Another local resident told me that both he and his wife are junior doctors with two young children. The new contract would see their income fall significantly and would likely mean one of them having to leave their job because they couldn’t afford the childcare.
Other aspects of the changes include:
- This contract removes safeguards that protect doctors from excessive working hours - tired doctors make mistakes. This contract is a threat to patient safety.
- The proposals discriminate against doctors with children and discourage doctors from becoming researchers - working hard to find cures for diseases like cancer and dementia
- Doctors are working harder than ever since the government slashed social care and pushed the NHS into financial crisis. They have had a pay cut of 14% since 2007 and this will cut their pay by a further 10-30%. Doctors will vote with their feet and leave. Thousands are planning to move to Australia, New Zealand and other careers. Shortages will increase, waiting times will rise, the quality of care will suffer.
Doctors did not ask for this. They have not asked for a pay rise. They want to continue to provide high quality care to everyone who needs it without charge at the point of need, but the government seem determined to demoralise and demotivate doctors. Tired, unhappy doctors do not and cannot provide high quality care. Our doctors want to protect the NHS and protect their patients. The new contract is not safe and not fair.
Our hard-working doctors must not be made to pay the price of this government’s financial mismanagement of the NHS and we must not return to the bad old days of overworked doctors, too exhausted to provide safe patient care.
That is why I have written to Jeremy Hunt urging him to withdraw the threat of imposing these contracts and re-engage with a meaningful dialogue with the British Medical Association and NHS staff.
If you’re affected by the proposals, please let me know so I can continue to hold this government to account for their inept handling of this important issue.
MP for Sefton Central