‘Jeremy Hunt treats us like dirt’: Junior doctors protest new govt contracts (VIDEO)
These crippling alterations would force junior doctors to work longer hours and take a 30-percent pay cut.
The contracts would also force them to work on Saturdays and up to 10pm every night of the week except Sunday. The changes are due to come into full effect next August.
In response to these controversial proposals, over 5,000 junior doctors, eager to “save the NHS,” flooded the streets of Westminster demanding an overhaul.
The overwhelming protest happened hours after an ‘open meeting’ on the 7-day National Health Service (NHS) was cancelled.
The trainee medics held up banners: “Safe contracts, safe patients.” “Tired doctors make mistakes,” another sign warned.
‘Unfair and unsafe’
Speaking to RT’s affiliate video agency Ruptly outside Downing Street, one protester described the government’s proposals as “unfair and unsafe.”
“We feel the contract is not only unfair for junior doctors who are dedicated professionals, but it’s also unsafe for patients,” they said.
A joint study by the Harvard University Medical School and Vancouver General Hospital found that accidental percutaneous injuries and needle stick injuries were more common in health care staff, who worked extra-long hours.
“Lapse in concentration and fatigue were the two most commonly reported contributing factors (64 percent and 31 percent of injuries),” the study said.
Therefore, worn out doctors are at higher risk of accidently injuring themselves or patients, meaning working longer hours could be life threatening.
‘This is people’s lives’
Speaking to RT on Tuesday, junior doctor Paul Teed, 36, who works with an NHS Trust in southwest England, said the contracts “will exploit workers” and put patients’ lives at risk.
“If you do not have proper hours/week safeguards you cannot protect doctors, thus you are not protecting patient care and safety - you are increasing risk to patient safety.
“The contract is unsafe and no penalties for overworking will happen. It will become even more unfair if I have children as I would be paid less.
“We are being treated like dirt by [Health Secretary] Jeremy Hunt, who I might remind that no doctor has confidence in.
“The thing I love the most about this country, [the NHS], is being purposefully destroyed for profit.
“This is people’s lives.”
The 36-year-old said these proposals have put him off pursuing his dream career. “I’m supposed to be applying in a month or two for training posts, but now complete uncertainty – not sure if I will apply.”
According to the Mirror, Certificates of Current Professional Status (CCPS) applications for medics seeking overseas work rose from 25 to 500 a day when Jeremy Hunt’s new regime was announced.
‘Doctors trade union misleading govt contract proposals’
The British Medical Association (BMA) warned that a large number of junior doctors might leave the country and work abroad if the government imposes the new contract.
“There has been an outpouring of anger over plans to impose a new contract and there is a real risk that junior doctors will speak with their feet,” BMA’s Junior Doctor Committee co-chair Kitty Mohan told the Huffington Post.
A spokesperson for the Department of Health said: “We suspect the sudden spike in CCPS applications is prompted by the doctors’ trade union [BMA], which is deliberately misleading our contract proposals.
“NHS staff are our greatest asset and in light of the BMA’s disappointing decision to decide against re-entering contract negotiations, NHS employers will continue to develop a contract that is good for junior doctors.”