Attention all Junior Doctor members of the NHA Party
Please see our letter calling on Jeremy Hunt to withdraw the junior doctor contract. It has been started by NHA Party junior doctors. If you would like your name added, please email email@example.com.
If you have colleagues who you think would also like to sign this letter, then please ask them to let us know by emailing their details to firstname.lastname@example.org. We would need them to be at least a signed up 'supporter member' of NHA (free) - and ideally a full member (£20/year, which will help us enormously in our fight for the NHS). Details here: http://nhaparty.org/join/
As junior doctors we have a duty to speak out when patient care is compromised. The new junior doctor contract being imposed on us by this government will remove vital protections on safe working patterns and could see a return to us working up to 90 hours a week. With the best effort and will in the world, we cannot be held responsible if such dangerously long hours put patients directly at risk.
The new contract will also impact on patients because it will lead to an exodus of highly-trained professionals out of the NHS and into jobs or to countries where they will be better respected and rewarded. Over the last decade, our job conditions have been gradually eroded by pay freezes, banding reductions, pension cuts, poor workforce planning, and the removal of free hospital accommodation.
None of us goes into the profession for the money but out of an innate desire to help save and improve lives. But the years of studying, training and acquirement of expertise, on top of the financial debt and personal sacrifices, do need to be fairly reflected in our pay. The basic full-time salary for a newly-qualified doctor is now £23,000. If the government impose the new contract, which reduces junior doctors' pay by around 30%, then doctors who have graduated with well over £50,000 of student debt will be earning less than the national average.
Those who do not leave can be expected to fight the new contract which is not only unfair but unsafe. This may well mean strike action. At a time when the NHS is already under threat from under-funding, rationing, and creeping privatisation, both an exodus and a strike pose serious threats to the stability of the system. Either could have grave consequences for patient care.
We call on the Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt to intervene as a matter or urgency and withdraw this ill-judged junior doctor contract and prevent what is likely to be vote for a strike for which he bears ultimately responsibility.
National Health Action Party Junior Doctors