Junior doctors' debate
The term junior doctor describes medics who have just graduated medical school through to those who have over a decade of experience. The government want to impose a new contract that will supposedly encourage a seven day NHS, but in reality will reduce a junior doctor’s income, see ‘sociable’ hours extended and reclassify Saturday as a normal working day.
Whilst the new contract was initially proposed in 2012, talks broke down between the British Medical Association (BMA) and the government in 2014 and conciliatory service ACAS was unable to resolve them earlier this year with the government deciding to impose the contract from August 2016.
As a result of the impasse between the BMA and the government, 45000 doctors took part in the first full strike in NHS history on 26th – 27th April 2016, deeming the new contract unsafe and unfair.
In all his infinite wisdom, it appears Jeremy Hunt believes the answer to achieving a seven-day NHS lies in unfairly treating junior doctors, discriminating against women and working parents (the new contract disadvantages single parents, who are predominantly women, as well as affecting maternity) and not in increasing all other hospital and support staff and services in line with junior doctor cover.