Junior doctors have called for five days of strikes, something Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has called ‘devastating news.’
The strike is down to controversial plans to force an increase on doctor’s working hours. It would increase working days from 7am-7pm to a shocking 7am-10pm. Additionally, Saturdays, where doctors work less hours, will constitute a normal working day, meaning normal working hours. This is in accordance with the Tory manifesto to create a ‘seven day NHS.’
According to the British Medical Association, the contract fails those who work the most weekends and was unfair to part-time workers.
Strikes will take place between 12-16th September, 8am-5pm.
Hunt told BBC Breakfast the strikes would lead to ‘absolute misery’ for patients, with an estimated 100,000 operations cancelled and 1,000,000 hospital appointments postponed. He said he had already ‘bent over backwards’ for the medical industry and made 107 concessions. He said:
“I want to talk, I want to sit round the table, I want to sort out all outstanding issues.
“I think junior doctors work incredibly hard, they work a lot of nights, a lot of weekends, some of the hardest-working people in the NHS.
“And we want to resolve this through co-operation, but you can’t have constructive discussions with an atmosphere of trust when people have decided to unleash the most devastating doctors’ strike in NHS history.”