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    The nostalgia for the Miners’ Strike by Conservatives is very easy to understand. It provides Tories with an easy win of nostalgia, taking to their bosom comforting images of Margaret Thatcher and policemen on horseback beating miners at Oregrave. But to say why or why not the current Junior Doctors Strike is like the Miners’ Strike is to fall into a trap designed by the inept propaganda artists of the Department of Health. Everytime you rise to the challenge of comparing the Junior Doctors Strike to the Miners’ Strike, you are allowing a heavenly gushing of euphoria of Thatcherism. But […]
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    Perfect markets need choice. If providers collude in pricing, say because they aren’t that many of them, the consumer doesn’t get a choice, and often has to pay through the teeth to obtain the product. For products which are the same, for example a biological detergent, the choice comes from variation in ‘adding value’ such as perfume. A similar argument holds for paying to have your hernia done. The actual service of the actual operation is effectively the same due to constraints posed by the functional anatomy of the human body. But would you like fries with that? In the […]
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    We’ve all been hearing a lot about the need for the 7-day NHS since Jeremy Hunt started to conflate the issue with the Junior Doctor Contract. As a piece of rhetoric, claiming that the NHS shuts down at the weekend or implying that all the lazy doctors just head home for Saturday and Sunday is an interesting one, being demonstrably untrue, but its repetition seems to be changing public opinions. At this week’s Socialist Health Association AGM, both Andrew Gwynne MP and a GP member were enthusiastic about how progressive the idea of a 7-day NHS is, and how the […]
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    Health Secretary accused of gambling with lives in doctors dispute Junior medics launch fake betting shop to showcase that Hunt is gambling with the public’s lives A faux betting shop storefront has been erected outside a London hospital and Westminster by the junior doctors campaign group, ahead of the first planned strike on Tuesday January 12, to represent how Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt’s plans to introduce radical reforms to doctors’ contracts could gamble with the public’s health. The betting shop, dubbed “Jeremy’s Punt” was launched as the Government’s continued failure to address doctors’ concerns that no proper safeguards have been […]
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    To our fellow workers, trades unionists, campaigners and activists: We need you! The current situation: Junior Doctors across England will be commencing industrial action on Tuesday 12th January. We are opposing this government’s attempt to impose an unsafe new contract on the medical profession. It is our view that the proposed contract represents an existential danger to the NHS as an institution. You may be aware that the BMA had initially suspended its planned industrial action at the start of December and returned to talks with the Department of Health. That decision was made in good faith. However, over the […]
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    Map showing where pickets will be at 8am In the West Midlands in North London and the East Midlands:  

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    “Junior doctors” are doctors who are fully qualified, independent practitioners who have not yet reached GP partner or consultant level. This includes many doctors who may have been practising for 10, 15 or even 20 ears and who hold very senior positions. They comprise a group of over 50,000 doctors in the UK. “Juniors doctors” includes many grades of doctor – registrars, SHOs, house officers, F1s, F2s, clinical fellows etc – anyone who is not a GP partner or consultant. Junior doctors are some of the most important members of front line NHS staff. They are the people we see […]
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    On Saturday 14 November, at the Unite the Resistance conference, Yiannis Gourtsoyannis from the BMA made an appeal for trade unionists and campaigners across the movement to support the junior doctors in their fight against Jeremy Hunt’s junior contract. Strike dates have been announced by the BMA (see below), pending the outcome of their ballot which ends on Wednesday 18 November. Dr Yiannis reported to the meeting that he considered it highly likely that there would be a decisive vote for strikes. Emergency care only — from 8am, Tuesday 1 December to 8am Wednesday 2 December Full walk out — […]
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    I remember being a newly qualified junior doctor in the 1970s and working one in two and one in three rotas in my first jobs. This meant working 120 hours a week at times. I remember being so tired that I missed someone who developed diabetic ketoacidosis and another patient with heart failure. Doctors make mistakes. But doctors make far more when they are tired and fatigued. Working such long hours as I did in those days is now illegal. The terms and conditions were improved but now the Government want to impose a new contract which will go back to some […]
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    It is difficult to know whether Secretary of State Hunt is deliberately promoting a fight, or has blundered into a conflict because he does not understand the undercurrents in the medical profession. He seems unprepared for a dispute. The economic modelling to show who would gain and who would lose from the new contract had not been completed, right up to the strike ballot. A little history may help clarify this. In 2007 the Blair government tried to introduce an electronic system for matching junior doctor applicants to training programme posts, the Medical Training Application Service (MTAS). The electronic system […]
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    against an unfair and unsafe contract and to defend the NHS? Today 20,000 junior doctors, joined by a large number of NHS colleagues, NHS campaigners and members of the public were demonstrating in London against the government’s imposition of an unfair and unsafe contract on junior doctors. The government’s claim is that our current contract prevents a full 7 day NHS. Here I take a look at whether this argument stands up to even basic scrutiny. In summary – we have an excellent and efficient NHS. We have a 7 day emergency service. A 7 day elective service could be possible, […]
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